Willem de Kooning - Untitled (Landscape), 1977 - Oil and masking tape on vellum on canvas, in two sheets, 36 x 48 inches. Courtesy: Esther and James Ferguson.

Charleston, South Carolina – The Gibbes Museum of Art will present the exclusive exhibition Modern Masters from the Ferguson Collection in the Main Gallery from April 30 through August 22, 2010.  Selected from the private collection of prominent art enthusiasts Esther and James Ferguson, this exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by significant twentieth-century artists such as Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and Christo. 

Pablo Picasso - "Femme dans un fauteuil", 1956, Oil on canvas, 39 ½ x 31 ½ inches. Courtesy of :Esther and James FergusonThe Ferguson’s remarkable collection reflects their personal tastes in art, but also offers an overview of European and American modernism.  Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art are among the many movements represented by this exhibition.

Esther and James Ferguson have said, “We are delighted to share 25 years of collecting extraordinary art with the Gibbes.”

Christo – A Presentation and Dialogue

The Fergusons befriended the artist Christo in the 1990s and have two mixed-media works by the artist in their collection. As the plans were getting underway for the Modern Masters exhibition at the Gibbes, the couple asked Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude to come to Charleston to discuss their projects in a public setting.  On Tuesday, April 13, Christo will discuss the artists’ past and future monumental installations in a presentation and dialogue scheduled for 5:30pm at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street in downtown Charleston.  Christo will share images and stories of the famed large-scale art projects that use fabric in both urban and rural environments.  After the presentation, Christo will welcome questions from the audience and participate in a book signing.  

“We are grateful to Esther and Jim for allowing us to share their impressive collection with visitors to the Gibbes. We are benefiting not only with this glorious exhibition, but also from their invitation to Christo to come to Charleston,” said Gibbes Executive Director Angela Mack.

Preview Party – Take it to the Street

The opening of the exhibition Modern Masters from the Ferguson Collection will be celebrated with a street party on Thursday, April 29 from 7:30 – 10:30pm. The Beaux Arts façade of the Gibbes will serve as a backdrop for a street party inspired by Christo’s monumental art installations. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, an open bar, and creative “street food” crafted by Charleston’s most celebrated chefs from Caviar and Bananas, Charleston Grill, Fig, McCrady’s, Palmetto Café, Slightly North of Broad, Trattoria Lucca, and Voysey's and Tides of Kiawah Island Club. Tickets, available online at www.gibbesmuseum.org/events, are $75 for museum members and $100 for non-members.

Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955) - Nature morte au livre, 1949 Oil on canvas, 13 x 18 inches - Courtesy of Esther and James Ferguson

This exhibition is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, William Means Real Estate, US Trust, and Charleston Magazine.

Gibbes Museum of Art

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905.  Located in Charleston’s historic district, the Gibbes houses a premier collection of over 10,000 works, principally American with a Charleston or Southern connection, and presents special exhibitions throughout the year. In addition, the museum offers an extensive complement of public programming and educational outreach initiatives that serve the community by stimulating creative expression and improving the region’s superb quality of life.

TUESDAY - SATURDAY: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M., SUNDAY: 1 P.M. - 5 P.M.

ADULTS: $9.00 · SENIORS, STUDENTS & MILITARY: $7.00 · CHILDREN (6-12): $5.00
135 Meeting Street * Charleston, SC * 29401 * www.gibbesmuseum.org

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Pause For Thought

Balthus on Language

"Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don’t know what to say about what I paint, really."