Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage presents a rare opportunity to experience nearly 100 years of original performance designs by renowned visual artists who took their creativity to the stage. This exhibition pulls back the curtain on a lesser known but equally inspiring aspect of their creative expressions—their collaborations as designers of sets, costumes, lighting, scenery, and in some cases, complete performances. Artworks come from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, and showcase exquisite designs for performances by modern and contemporary artists including Pablo Picasso, Natalia Gontcharova, Henri Matisse, Alexandra Exter, Joan Miró, Louise Nevelson, and David Hockney, among others.
Known mainly as painters and sculptors, the artists represented in this exhibition dispel notions of isolated studio practice. Their artworks celebrate collaborations with the exciting directors, dancers, writers, composers, choreographers, and musicians of their day, including Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, Igor Stravinsky, the Moscow Actors’ Theatre, George Balanchine, Gertrude Stein, Santa Fe Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. Together they stand as visionaries of theater arts—creating milestones of modern performance, influencing generations of theater designers, and even changing the course of their own art.
Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage is organized for the McNay Art Museum by R. Scott Blackshire, PhD, curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts; Timothy James Retzloff, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Assistant Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts; and Jody Blake, PhD, Former Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.
Investment is provided by:
The City of Savannah, the Georgia Council for the Arts, and Terra Foundation for American Art.
Annual exhibition support by Director’s Circle Council Members: Bob Faircloth, Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson, Anonymous, Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Critz, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Critz, Sr., Alice and Bob Jepson, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore J. Kleisner, Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Levy, Leslie and Angus Littlejohn, Wilson and Linda Fisk Morris, Dave and Sylvaine Neises, Thomas V. and Susan G. Reilly, Cathy and Philip Solomons, Pamela L. and Peter S. Voss, Don and Cindy Waters, Ms. Susan Willetts and Mr. Alan K. Pritz, Dr. Victor L. Andrews, Malcolm and Julia Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Coker, Jr., Jan and Lawrence Dorman, Dr. and Mrs. William T. Moore, Mr. C.B. Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Roelle, Carl and Barbara Sassano, Jacqueline and Ken Sirlin, Mr. and Mrs. Mark V. Smith, Marti and Austin Sullivan, Gloria and Durwood Almkuist, Melissa and Kelly Bouchillon, Leda Chong and Kevin Dewalt, Lindsay and Brent Harlander, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Haynes III, Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Hinnant, Mr. and Mrs. Doug Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. Myron Kaminsky, Kelley and Josh Keller, Mrs. Robert O. Levitt, Linda and Tom McWhorter, Courtney and Jay Neely, Mr. and Mrs. J. Herbert Ogden, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. David E. Paddison, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Rabinowitz, Ms. Swann Seiler, Randall and Valerie Stolt, and Mr. and Mrs. John L. Tucker