Picasso to Hockney Explores Visual Artists’ Designs for Performance

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Yolanda Urrabazo
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**Please join us for the media preview of Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage at The McNay on Tuesday, October 15 at 2 p.m.**

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Featuring More than 100 Artworks from Renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts

San Antonio, TX (October 8, 2019)
– As museums expand their role in the world and cultivate new audiences, The McNay engages a broad spectrum of art, music, dance, and theatre lovers through its fall exhibition Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage. This presentation explores how visual artists designed for performance, challenged conventional theatre practices, and often redefined their own work in the process.

Picasso to Hockney reinforces the McNay’s commitment to engaging absolutely everyone,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director. “By defining the arts broadly to incorporate everything from painting to performance to fashion, we can speak to even more backgrounds, identities, and interests in our community and around the world.”

The unique exhibition features more than 100 unique artworks from one of the McNay’s great strengths: the world-renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. These holdings are an unparalleled treasure trove of scenic and costume designs amassed by Robert L. B. Tobin, the late San Antonio arts visionary who recognized and championed theatre arts as fine art. For the first time in Museum history, Picasso to Hockney expands the presentation of the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts beyond the Tobin Theatre Arts Galleries into its 7,000-square-foot Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions.

Rarely-seen scenic and costume designs will highlight innovative collaborations between modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Natalia Gontcharova, Joan Miró, Robert Indiana, Louise Nevelson, Robert Wilson, and David Hockney and thought-provoking writers, musicians, directors, and choreographersof their day. Paintings, works on paper, and sculpture from the McNay’s iconic permanent collection are also included to generate thoughtful conversation with performance designs throughout the exhibition.

“It is a privilege to work with extraordinary and creative McNay colleagues to bring this exhibition to life for San Antonio,” said R. Scott Blackshire, Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. “I am particularly honored to uphold the legacy of Robert L. B. Tobin – supporting museums across the country as they introduce their communities to the beauty of performance, something Mr. Tobin firmly believed.”

Interactive moments include a maquette-making activity that invites guests to create their own stage model while standing inside a life-size re-creation of Picasso’s scene design maquette for composer Manuel de Falla’s ballet, Pulcinella. Additionally, guests are invited to animate a digital version of artist Alexandra Exter’s Spanish Dancer Marionette with an Ipad.

The presentation’s soundscape features performances throughout the exhibition in artworks from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, new music by San Antonio composer Nathan Felix, and a “follow-the-score” video projection of composer Erik Satie’s ballet, Parade.

Special programming includes a classical performance by San Antonio-based quartet Agarita, and an immersive headphone operetta experience by Nathan Felix throughout the galleries.

Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage
is on view at McNay Art Museum through December 29, 2019, and travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL; Dayton Art Institute; and the Telfair Academy, Savannah, GA, in 2020.

Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage is organized for the McNay Art Museum by R. Scott Blackshire, PhD, Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts; Timothy James Retzloff, The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Assistant Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts; and Jody Blake, PhD, Former Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.

Lead funding is most generously provided by the Brown Foundation, Inc. Major funding is provided by The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund. Additional support is provided by Frost Bank Charitable Foundation, the Nathalie and Gladys Dalkowitz Charitable Trust, and the Host Committee, chaired by Drs. Alice and Sergio Viroslav.

Free museum admission for Active Military Members is provided through December 31, 2019 courtesy of The USAA Foundation, Inc.


About the McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum engages a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts. Built in the 1920s by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay, the Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first museum of modern art when it opened in 1954. Today, 200,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The 23 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include sculptures by Robert Indiana, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, and Kiki Smith. The 45,000 square-foot Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions, designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, features three significant exhibitions annually.

For almost 65 years, the McNay has enchanted visitors with its art, architecture, and ambiance. The museum offers rich and varied exhibitions as well as rotating displays in the Main Collection Galleries from the 20,000 works in the collection; more than 45,000 adults, teachers, students, and families take advantage of a variety of education programs and innovative educational resources.