FEBRUARY 10 – JUNE 17, 2012
Organized to celebrate the Art Center’s recent acquisition of a very rare experimental color etching, Chinese Arabesque with a Double Parasol by Anne Allen, an 18th-century British printmaker active in France, Delicacies presents a group of works from the permanent collection in which artists express a sense of fragility, grace, lightness, and weightlessness. Prints and small sculptures depict an evanescent world of soft, impossibly balanced, flying, melting, and floating forms. These images are delineated in line or are evoked in transparent and luminous colors. The exhibition investigates some of the ways that artists from the 18th century to the present create a sense of delicacy through their imaginative visions and use of materials and techniques. Despite their apparently delicate and genteel natures, several of these delightful images are quietly subversive works.
Delicacies is organized by Amy N. Worthen, curator of prints and drawings.
Anne Allen (French, 1748–after 1808)
Chinese Arabesque with a Double Parasol, from the series
“Nouvelle suite de cahiers arabesque chinois à l'usage des
dessinateurs et des peintres (New Suite of Notebooks of
Chinese Designs for the use of Designers and Painters),” c.1795
Color etching from two plates inked à la poupée in gray, blue, b
lue-green, olive-green, red, orange, and brown, on pale blue-green
plate toned laid paper; 7 11/16 x 5 9/16 inches
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections;
Gift of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club, 2011.9