Gallery Talk: SIDESHOW

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April 5, 2012 / 6:30 PM

Sideshow: Artists and the Circus
Blank One Gallery

Join Associate Curator Laura Burkhalter for a discussion of this exhibition.

Throughout history, artists have been fascinated by the colorful costumes, flying acrobats,
and exotic animals of the circus. This imagery held a particular interest for two pillars of
Modernism: Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, who chose circus scenery as a vehicle for
experiments in color, form, and abstraction. Conversely, American Scene artists such as
John Steuart Curry and Russell Cowles captured the vibrant performers and animals as they
moved across early 20th-century America, entertaining both rural and urban audiences.
Chosen from the Art Center’s permanent collections, Sideshow will also feature works by
Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Otto Dix. Sideshow: Artists and the Circus is organized by
Laura Burkhalter, associate curator.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi
(American, born Japan, 1889–1953)
Amazing Juggler, 1952
Oil on canvas
65 3/8 x 40 1/8 inches
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections;
Purchased with funds from the Edmundson
Art Foundation, Inc., 1954.24



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