Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France
July 12, 2016 to October 2, 2016
It would be difficult to think of an artist further removed from the muck and misery of war than Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), who is known as a painter of amorous aristocrats and melancholy actors. And yet, early in his career, Watteau painted a number of scenes of military life. They were produced during one of the darkest chapters of France’s history, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), but the martial glory on which most military painters trained their gaze held no interest for Watteau.
Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection
May 24, 2016 to April 2, 2017
The Frick presents a year-long exhibition exploring the complex history of making, collecting, and displaying porcelain. Included are about one hundred pieces produced by the renowned Royal Meissen manufactory, which led the ceramic industry in Europe, both scientifically and artistically, during the early to mid-eighteenth century. Most of the works date from 1720 to 1745 and were selected by New York-based sculptor Arlene Shechet from the promised gift of Henry H. Arnhold. Sixteen works in the exhibition are Shechet’s own sculptures — exuberant porcelain she made during a series of residencies at the Meissen manufactory in 2012 and 2013. Designed by Shechet, the exhibition avoids the typical chronological or thematic order of most installations in favor of a personal and imaginative approach that creates an intriguing dialogue between the historical and the contemporary. With nature as the dominant theme, the exhibition is presented in the Frick’s Portico Gallery, which overlooks the museum’s historic Fifth Avenue Garden. Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection is organized by Charlotte Vignon, Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection.