Under the Influence: Art-Inspired Art

Just as Ruth Weisberg has been inspired by Cagnacci’s masterpiece, so, too, have artists throughout history been influenced by the works of others. Organized as a complement to Ruth Weisberg: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image, the exhibition Under the Influence: Art-Inspired Art features more than 45 objects from the Museum’s permanent collections, including rarely seen paintings, works on paper and sculpture from the late 15th through the 20th centuries.

Artworks in Under the Influence raise provocative questions about artistic emulation and innovation. Some works are direct copies, such as Degas’ study after Nicolas Poussin’s monumental Rape of the Sabines (Louvre, Paris). Others, like Picasso’s Portrait of a Young Woman (After Lucas Cranach the Younger), are recognizably in the artist’s own style and contrast greatly with the original. Additional works featured include Goya etchings after the Spanish court painter Diego Velázquez, drawings by Fragonard after the Italian Old Masters, paintings by Manet, Cézanne and Seurat, and lithographs by Picasso. Two works that have been considered study pieces at the Museum—Portrait of a Lady (formerly attributed to Sebastiano Mainardi) and Venetian Nobleman (formerly attributed to Titian)—are also included as exercises in connoisseurship.

The exhibition also includes a 21st-century piece—a model of artist David Schafer’s new work Separated United Forms (SUF). The bronze sculptures, commissioned by the Pacific Medical Buildings for installation at Huntington Hospital in early 2009, were inspired by Henry Moore’s Reclining Form, 1966, a marble sculpture in the Norton Simon collections. Schafer used a hand-held body scanning device to create computer generated renderings of Moore’s marble sculpture, which he then reconfigured to create SUF. Both Moore’s work and Schafer’s model will be installed side by side.