Into the Night: Modern and Contemporary Art and the Nocturne Tradition Opens to the Public Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 1 / 2016

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Into the Night: Modern and Contemporary Art and the Nocturne Tradition
Opens to the Public Saturday, February 27, 2016 at the Tucson Museum of Art

TUCSON, ARIZONA (January 18, 2016) – The night is a loaded image associated with mystery, drama, the esoteric, and otherness. Into the Night: Modern and Contemporary Art and the Nocturne Tradition is comprised of paintings, photographs, and works on paper, by more than 65 national and regional artists that investigate psychological concepts of darkness, the dreamscape and its connection to the night, and the inter-connectedness of the environment with cultural and artistic concerns through the enigmatic notion of the night. Featuring works by Georges Braque, Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, Gregory Crewdson, Maki Kaoru, Mark Klett, Richard Misrach, Olaf Wieghorst, and many others, this major exhibition opens to the public Saturday, February 27, 2016, at the Tucson Museum of Art (TMA) in historic downtown Tucson.

Drawn from the Museum’s collection and accompanied by a selection of important loans, this exhibition was conceived, curated, and organized by TMA Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art, Dr. Julie Sasse.

Despite contemporary artists’ ongoing interest in this genre, nocturne imagery has received scant attention. “This exhibition will present a wide variety of imaginative ways that artists convey this natural phenomenon from rural to urban landscapes, and the hyper realistic to the abstract,” said Dr. Julie Sasse. “Nocturnes can be provocative and mysterious—meditative and comforting, or brooding and threatening by the immensity and drama of the shroud of darkness. Images of the night can also represent a state of melancholy, the psychological recesses of the mind, and the cycle of life and death.”

The practice of creating night imagery has ancient origins, but emerged as a distinct European artistic theme in Rembrandt van Rijn’s famously dark paintings of the mid- 1600s. The genre remained obscured for two hundred more years until James McNeill Whistler borrowed composer Frederic Chopin’s term “nocturne,” using it as a title of one of his most famous paintings, Nocturne, 1874. American Impressionists, Hudson River School artists, Realists, and Romantics such as John Singer Sargent, Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, and Frederic Remington embraced the style in the mid- to late-1800s and early-1900s. Building on these precedents, the artists represented in Into the Night approach the subject matter from many different perspectives, from the dreamy to the confrontational, and the realistic to the conceptual.

In traditional painting and photography, with equal dreamy, pensive moodiness, nocturnes are visual depictions of the night, in particular the night sky of the rural landscape, the sea, or the awesome architecture of urban spaces. Whether illuminated by moon, fire, or electric light, nocturnes reveal the fascination artists and viewers alike share with the loaded symbolic imagery of the night, reminding us of endings and beginnings, of portent and possibilities.

The exhibition includes works by: David Andres, Peter Baczek, Marc Boone, Georges Braque, Kate Breakey, David Bumbeck, George Elbert Burr, Howard Russell Butler, Keith Carter, Robert D. Cocke, Christopher Colville, Julie Comnick, James P. Cook, Wayne Crandell, Bruce Cratsley, Gregory Crewdson, Scott B. Davis, Joseph DiGiorgio, Gonzalo Espinosa and Suzanne Klotz, James Farrah, Gilbert Fastenaekens, Jake Fischer, Neil Folberg, Dolores Guerrero-Cruz, Marsden Hartley, Stu Jenks, Maki Kaoru, Rockwell Kent, Robert Kingston, Mark Klett, Albert Kogel, Mayme Kratz, Richard Laugharn, Leslie Lerner, William Lesch, Lucero Less, Michael Light, O. Winston Link, Albert Pike Lucas, Mark McDowell, DeAnn Melton, Dominic Miller, Richard Misrach, Catherine Nash, Eric Nash, Dale Nichols, Michael O’Neill, Anthony Pessler, Edward Pramuk, Joe Ray, Robert Renfrow, Lisa M. Robinson, Andrew Rush, Lynn Saville, James Schaub, Rocky Schenck, Doug Shelton, Tavik Frantisek Simon, Jeff Smith, Amy Stein, Jamey Stillings, Lynn Taber, Patssi Valdez, Robert Von Sternberg, Jim Waid, Olaf Wieghorst, A. T. Willett, and Masao Yamamoto.

Into the Night: Modern and Contemporary Art and the Nocturne Tradition will remain on view at TMA until July 10, 2016.

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