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Blanton Museum of Art Announces Two New Exhibits for Summer

The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection
The Collecting Impulse: Fifty Works from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel
Blanton Museum of Art
June 10 through August 12, 2012

This summer, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin presents two exhibitions that examine the distinct methods and motivations for building art collections. The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection showcases work from contemporary artists working in multiple media, and examines how corporate collections are assembled and the ways in which they serve multiple audiences. Conversely, The Collecting Impulse: Fifty Works from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, tells the story of the very personal collection of Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a New York couple of modest means whose love of art and artists resulted in a renowned collection that spans five decades. Both exhibitions are on view June 10 through Aug. 12.

The Human Touch

The Human Touch, presents forty contemporary paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the corporate art collection of RBC Wealth Management. The exhibition features representations of the human form in all its variety, ranging from whimsical to provocative, large scale to small, and across media. Featured artists include John Baldessari, Chuck Close, Roland Fischer, Nan Goldin, Elizabeth Peyton, and Kehinde Wiley, among others. Blanton director Simone Wicha states, “We are delighted to bring this collection to Austin and are grateful to our friends at RBC Wealth Management for their ongoing support of the visual arts. This exhibition will offer Blanton visitors the opportunity to explore concepts of self and identity as they experience a rich diversity of visual representations of the human figure by contemporary artists.”

Whether a striking portrait, figure study or scene of human narrative, the works in The Human Touch offer intimate investigations of the human spirit. Highlights include ethereal photographs from Nan Goldin and Lalla Essaydi, and a chocolate syrup painting that was created and later photographed by Vik Muniz. Prints from Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein and Elizabeth Peyton showcase a range of artistic approaches, and mixed media works from Kerry James Marshall, Hung Liu and Gajin Fujita explore topics such as social status and family lineage.

Don McNeil, curator of the collection and exhibition, explains that RBC collects works that focus on the human figure because they recognize man’s need to understand the human condition and believe that the human form remains its most direct manifestation. “The earliest known drawings and sculptures depicted human and animal figures. These artistic expressions centered on matters most important to early man – success in the hunt and fertility. As society evolved, the human figure maintained its importance in artistic endeavors and is the major focal point in artistic expression to this day.”

About the RBC Wealth Management Collection

RBC Wealth Management believes that art has the power to touch lives by both sparking contemplation and stimulating conversation. The company promotes rewarding art experiences by sharing their corporate art collection: The Human Touch. Consisting of more than 400 works focusing on the human figure, the collection covers a broad spectrum of media and styles. While each piece is unique, the collection reflects the rich diversity of RBC’s clients, employees and the people who make up the communities in which they do business. By touring the country, The Human Touch introduces new ways of thinking about who we are and how we live.

The Collecting Impulse

In 2008 The Blanton was selected by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C and Dorothy and Herbert Vogel as the only museum in Texas to receive works from The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a national gift program distributing 2,500 works from the Vogel’s collection of contemporary art throughout the nation. Long-time collectors, the Vogels personally selected each museum with the help of the National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This important collection features minimal and conceptual artworks from over 170 contemporary artists. Of these, The Blanton received 50 works from artists such as Stephen Antonakos, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Elizabeth Murray, and Richard Tuttle, among others, all of which will be exhibited in The Collecting Impulse.

The Vogels have a long history with The Blanton, showing a portion of their collection in 1997 at what was then the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery. The exhibition, titled From Minimal to Conceptual Art: Works from The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, featured art from the mid- to late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Collecting Impulse chronicles several decades of the New York Art scene, with fine examples from many leading minimalist and conceptualist artists, but it also tells the story of the Vogels as collectors —examining the couple’s love affair with art and artists that led to the acquisition of over 4,000 works. The Blanton’s concurrent presentation of The Human Touch provides a counterpart to the exhibition, examining how a corporate collection is assembled.

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have spent the last five decades building their collection. Herbert, a retired United States Postal Service employee, and Dorothy, a retired librarian, are patrons with modest means. Placing highest priority on their collecting activities, the couple lived off Dorothy’s salary, while using Herbert’s to buy contemporary art. The Vogel Collection is unique, with no other private collection of similar work in Europe or America rivaling the range, complexity and quality of art the Vogels have acquired.

An interactive website, www.vogel50x50.org complements the exhibition, and a screening of the acclaimed documentary, Herb and Dorothy, will take place on Thursday, July 19 at 6 PM.

The Collecting Impulse: Fifty Works from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art. Fifty Works for Fifty States is a joint Initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art with generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and has the largest and most comprehensive collection of art in Central Texas. The museum welcomes and engages all visitors by offering extraordinary experiences that connect art and ideas. The Blanton’s permanent collection of more than 17,000 works is recognized for its European paintings, an encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings, and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art.

The museum is located at the intersection of Martin Luther King and Congress Avenue and is open Tuesday though Friday from 10 – 5, Saturday from 11-5, and Sunday from 1-5. Thursdays are free admission days and every third Thursday the museum is open until 9 pm. Admission Prices: Adults $9, Kids 12 and under FREE, Seniors (65+) $7, Youth/College Students (13-21) $5. Admission is free to members, all current UT ID-holders. For additional information call (512) 471-7324 or visit www.blantonmuseum.org .

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