MOCA Jacksonville Spotlights the Eisen Collection

July 1, 2012 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The UNF Department of Art and Design present selections from the collection of Judy Eisen and the late Dr. Saul Eisen. Running concurrently with the ReFocus: The Art of the 1970s exhibition, several of the works are quite at home in the context of the larger collection. Join us after the jump for a quick preview of the fairly excellent show in the side gallery of the second floor of the museum.

The Joy of Collecting Series is one of my favorites.  It does a couple of great things all at one time.  First it utilizes the Art and Major Works that can only be found in local private collections, which otherwise might not be seen by the public in any other format.  Second it celebrates and illustrates the practice of building a substantial personal art collection.

It can be very surprising to find out how many works by some of the great masters of art are owned or housed here locally, and this series is one of the unfortunately under promoted venues which makes that quite clear.

The current collection is no exception.  If one word were used to describe the Eisen’s collection, it would have to be quality. Many of the artists’ names represented here are well known to the museum-going public: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist. Robert Motherwell, Richard Diebenkorn, Jean Dubuffet and Lucien Freud. The works of these artists are in many important museums, and their works on display are united by being highly characteristic of their styles and movements, which range from Pop Art to Art Brut to abstract and figural expressionism.

The subject matter of the Eisen Collection is delightfully varied. It ranges from the whimsical and fantastic as can be seen in One of Five Seamen by Hundertwasser, Goldyne’s Gare St Lazare; Giacometti’s Rolling Stock on Monet’s Track and Desmaziéres’ Terre Inconnue. Some subjects, seemingly mundane, such as John’s Target with Plaster Casts, Clemente’s Seeds (actually capitalized letters scattered over the surface of the etching) or Thiebaud’s Eyeglasses of various sizes and shapes, are elevated and transformed by the artists’ inventiveness.

A personal favorite artist to be seen in the exhibition is Jerry Uelsmann, the surrealist photographer who was also a professor at University of Florida for many years.

The selections shown here reflect the couple’s joy of collecting. Guided by trusted gallery advisors, their own instincts and careful research, the Eisen Collection is truly of museum quality.

Francesco Clemente (Italian, 1952), Seeds, 1991

Lucian Freud (British, b. Germany 1922-2011), Bella, 1995

Anna Rochegova (Russian, 1953), Twins,

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Native American, 1940), Playground, 1987