Learning to Look: Line
Line is among the artist’s most basic and essential tools. Since pre-historic times, artists have employed line to describe objects, to structure a composition, and to heighten the visual and expressive impact of a work. Learning to Look: Line examines objects in which line is used for conventional purposes as well as in inventive and unexpected ways. A small but wide-ranging selection of works from Europe and Asia are represented in this exhibition curated by the Education Department.
This exhibit presents a small but wide-ranging selection of fifteen European and Asian works from the Museum's permanent collections. The exhibition explores artists' use of line to describe objects, to structure compositions and to heighten the visual and expressive impact of a work. It examines objects in which line is used for conventional purposes as well as in inventive and unexpected ways. Works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Rembrandt van Rijn, Ando Utagawa Hiroshige, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Ellsworth Kelly are featured within an eclectic mix of artworks from the first to the twentieth century.
Highlights of the exhibition include Rembrandt's etching Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill (1639), Picasso's lithographs Birds in Flight (1945) and Three Birds (1945), and Minimalist artist Agnes Martin's acrylic and graphite painting Leaf in the Wind (1963). Learning to Look: Line is the second in a series of exhibitions curated by the Norton Simon Museum's education department. By showcasing elements of art such as color, line, shape and form, viewers gain insight into how artists construct a work of art. Printed materials accompany the exhibition to facilitate further exploration in the Museum's galleries.