12/9/22 - 3/24/24

Kevin M. Murphy, Eugénie Prendergast Senior Curator of American and European Art

Julia Clark '25

Landscape, architecture, and animals in Brazilian artist Marina Rheingantz’s monumental painting Vavale are abstracted and indistinct, echoing the haziness of human memory over time. The canvas is unified by a blue wash, signifying water, sky, or both. Rheingantz cites the work of Maurice Prendergast among her inspirations, a significant connection to WCMA, which has the largest collection of artwork by Maurice Prendergast and his  brother Charles, through a bequest by Charles’s wife Eugénie. 

Maurice Prendergast captured ephemeral scenes at St. Malo, France, the faceless people and unblended paint retaining all the essence of leisure with limited definition, as though faded from the mind’s eye. Antibes, South of France captures the rooftops of the French town and shares formal aspects with Vavale’s depiction of built environments in Brazil. Charles Prendergast’s hand-carved mirror presents us to ourselves at one moment in time, along with Rheingantz’s painted recollection of her rural childhood under the sun in Araraquara.

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