The Nasher Museum of Art Receives a Significant Gift, a Major Painting by Archibald Motley | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Nasher Museum of Art Receives a Significant Gift, a Major Painting by Archibald Motley

Posted by on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 3:13 PM

click to enlarge Archibald J. Motley Jr., "Hot Rhythm," 1961, oil on canvas, 40 x 48.375 inches - COLLECTION OF THE NASHER MUSEUM OF ART AT DUKE UNIVERSITY/GIFT OF MARA MOTLEY AND VALERIE GERRARD BROWNE
  • collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University/gift of Mara Motley and Valerie Gerrard Browne
  • Archibald J. Motley Jr., "Hot Rhythm," 1961, oil on canvas, 40 x 48.375 inches

“Hot Rhythm,” a major painting by Archibald Motley, has been donated to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Two of the artist’s heirs, Mara Motley and Valerie Gerrard Browne, have given the dynamic work to the Nasher in honor of Richard J. Powell, Duke’s John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History, and C.T. Woods-Powell.

Powell curated the standout 2014 exhibition Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist, which originated at the Nasher before traveling to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. (Read the INDY's 2014 cover story here.)

The exhibit covered the artist’s lengthy career, from 1919 until the 1960s, showing how he portrayed the turbulent twentieth-century African-American experience through a unique combination of realism and expressionism. Motley was already on the map of major black Modernists before the Nasher exhibit, but its tour raised the profile of his work to match the likes of Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. Well over half a million people visited the show.

Painted in 1961, when Motley was seventy years old, “Hot Rhythm” will be on view at the Nasher later this month. It depicts a crowded Jazz Age nightclub scene in all its dynamic revelry, but it also subverts standard historical depictions of that time.

"'Hot Rhythm' is a good example of how Motley painted in an academically traditional way, but then improvised on that, had fun with it,” Powell says in a press release. "[It] portrays, literally, people of color—they have pink skins, magenta skins, they have blue-black skins. Motley knows the rules and breaks them to make a major modern artistic statement.”

“We are extremely proud to accept the gift of this dazzling painting by Archibald Motley, now recognized as one of the preeminent American artists of the twentieth century,” says Sarah Schroth, director of the Nasher Museum. “This acquisition is an endorsement of our program to champion works by artists of African descent, as we have since the museum opened in 2005. We fell in love with ‘Hot Rhythm’ while it was here during the Motley exhibition and now it’s come home. This painting is truly a crown jewel in our collection and a fitting tribute to Rick Powell, who brought well-deserved new attention to a great artist.”
This post has been updated with additional information from the Nasher on the painting's donors and honorees.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

When discussing this play, you need to be cautious not to imply that it's an accurate depiction of autism. Mark …

by Curio Onscreen on Theater Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Lights Up the Mathematics of the Mind (Arts)

First comment sounds like Crawford wrote it.

by Chris Kassel on Scott Crawford Refused to Sell Us a Plate of Food at Crawford and Son (Arts)

Best ending should have been:

Aurora got really hurt by projectile (in movie it hit her arm). It should …

by Sergej on Movie Review: Passengers Proves a Bad Ending Can Ruin an Otherwise Good Movie (Arts)

I'd keep an eye on the Facebook page and expect to see events there as they finish reshuffling, but if …

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on An Epilogue for Unexposed Microcinema's Bold, Meaningful Year of Holding Down a Stable Venue for Experimental Film (Arts)

sorry i missed these events. how do I find out about future ones? Web link is dead. FB/Twitter links appear …

by Geoff Dunkak on An Epilogue for Unexposed Microcinema's Bold, Meaningful Year of Holding Down a Stable Venue for Experimental Film (Arts)

Comments

When discussing this play, you need to be cautious not to imply that it's an accurate depiction of autism. Mark …

by Curio Onscreen on Theater Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Lights Up the Mathematics of the Mind (Arts)

First comment sounds like Crawford wrote it.

by Chris Kassel on Scott Crawford Refused to Sell Us a Plate of Food at Crawford and Son (Arts)

Most Read

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation