Three North Texas art museums premiere significant shows this weekend: a unique series of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, the first museum show of metal sculptures by a noted American artist and a major exhibition of paintings and drawings by the 19th century British master J. M. W. Turner — the first to come to North Texas in 13 years.
If you’ve gone to gawp at one of the two, much-social-media’d, immersive van Gogh shows currently in Dallas, perhaps you’re finally ready for the real thing. The Dallas Museum of Art is debuting a series of just 17 paintings by the Dutch artist. They’re all views of the same French olive groves — near the asylum in Saint-Remy where he checked himself in.
But the entire series was painted in the last year of Van Gogh’s life. They display very different painting techniques as he tries to capture the changing seasons, get past the techniques of Impressionism while also differing with his friends, Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, over the future of painting.
All of this shows the kind of frenetic inspiration and output the artist had towards the end. Van Gogh and the Olive Grove took ten years to put together, and the DMA is the only venue in North America to offer the first-of-its-kind exhibition.
Across the street from the DMA, the Nasher Sculpture Center will premiere the first museum show of massive steel sculptures by the noted American artist Carol Bove. Some of the works are more than 6 feet tall, and two have been made specially for the Nasher exhibition.
And in Fort Worth, the Kimbell Art Museum presents the American premiere of an exhibition of more than 100 artworks by the great J. M. W. Turner, including some of his sketchbooks, his later watercolors that seem to capture light and air with a feather touch (“Venice by Moonlight”) as well as his gripping, historic masterworks, including “The Battle of Trafalgar” and “The Burning of Parliament.”
Kimbell deputy director George Shackleford explains the show is called Turner’s Modern World because of Turner’s evolving and revolutionary painting style that influenced so many who followed — and the ways he chronicled the upheavals that created the 20th century.
Said Shackleford: “It’s the first show to really focus on Turner’s engagement with reform politics, with warfare, with what the Industrial Revolution meant to the entire world.”
The Kimbell is one of only two American museums to host the show.