Etchings Of Renoir Featured In New Exhibition At Polk Museum Of Art At Florida Southern College

Dec 12, 2017

by Staff

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College opens two exciting new exhibitions this month, including works by one of the world’s most iconic artists.

“Renoir: Les Études” opens on Dec. 26 and shows a lesser-known side of 19th-century French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Although Renoir was typically known as a painter, “Renoir: Les Études” explores the artist’s sketches and his use of the art of printmaking, a medium he discovered in the 1890s. The exhibition includes drypoints, etchings and lithographs based on drawings of different forms, such as nudes on beaches; bathers; portraits of artists Berthe Morisot, Richard Wagner and Louis Valtat; and Renoir’s son Claude.

“Etchings were significant for artists because of their reproducibility and flexibility as a medium,” says Alex Rich, the museum’s curator and director of galleries and exhibitions. “Prints presented a way for artists not only to earn more income by reproducing and selling more of their work but also to allow them to create endless variants on a theme. Essentially a series of line-drawings, etchings are changeable and no two prints are ever the same.”

“America/American” opens Dec. 16 and is the first exhibition that melds pieces from Florida Southern’s new collection of American figurative art with works from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition will explore the concept of what makes a painting – or an artist –“American.”

“In some ways, the first true American style was Abstract Expressionism,” Rich says. “It was home-grown, different and had no ties to anything that came before. That was in the 1940s when Jackson Pollock began making his drip-style paintings.”

A Members Reception for these exhibitions will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 at the museum. Admission is free for members; $10 for nonmembers.

“America/American” will be on view through March 4, and “Renoir: Les Études” runs through March 11.