Earth Paint Paper Wood celebrates the ongoing addition of important works of art to the Menil Collection by gift, purchase, and bequest. While some of these works have been included in exhibitions over the past several years, many have only rarely been shown, and a number remain unknown to museum visitors. Earth Paint Paper Wood showcases the significance and diversity of gifts, including promised gifts, and accessions from the last several years part of the museum’s continuing efforts to build upon the extraordinary collection of art assembled by its founders John and Dominique de Menil.
As a part of the museum’s ongoing program to realize the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center, Earth Paint Paper Wood will emphasize works on paper from the 20th century. Generous gifts from the Menil’s trustees, such as the untitled works by Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner reproduced above, and from other special friends of the museum, illustrate the breadth of approaches to drawing by modern and contemporary artists. Recent gifts from artists themselves, most notably Claes Oldenburg, demonstrate the close relationship that the Menil enjoys with living artists in its collection.
In addition to drawings, the exhibition features works in a variety of media—including painting, sculpture and ceramic—and from different eras. Earth Paint Paper Wood reflects on the museum’s philosophy of building on its existing strengths by adding works by artists established within the collection, such as Michael Heizer and Robert Rauschenberg, while introducing new and younger artists, like Suzan Frecon and Robert Gober.
Photos: Paul Hester