November 27, 2000
SAM organizes large scale exhibition of John Singer Sargent
by Deborah Stone
Seattle Art Museum will host a retrospective of premier international portrait painter John Singer Sargent, opening Dec. 14, in time for the festive winter holidays.
This is the first major exhibition of the renowned artist's work on the West Coast and features 120 works, including formal portraits, oil sketches and charcoal drawings.
Born in Italy to American parents, Sargent (1856-1925) was raised throughout Europe and studied art in Florence and Paris.
After creating a scandal by exhibiting his portrait of the young and beautiful Madame Pierre Gautreau (later titled "Madame X"), emphasizing her bare shoulders and well-endowed figure, Sargent moved to London and became successful as a portraitist of the wealthy and powerful elite.
Later on in his life, he tried to move away from doing formal portraits and turned to painting landscapes and murals, which were rarely exhibited or sold.
SAM's exhibition will be comprised of four major components: works from a traveling show of Sargent's portraits of the London art dealer Asher Wertheimer and his family; a variety of figure study drawings, a group of watercolors and oil sketches completed on Sargent's vacations to Italy, Spain, British Columbia and Florida; and informal portrait sketches made of the artist's friends and associates.
This extensive collection will be curated by Trevor Fairbrother, Deputy Director of Art/John and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern Art, and internationally recognized scholar of Sargent's work and author of the new book, "John Singer Sargent: The Sensualist."
Advanced tickets for the show are now on sale through Ticketmaster at (206) 292-ARTS.
After the exhibition's opening, same-day tickets can be purchased at SAM's admissions desk. "John Singer Sargent" will run through March 18, 2001.