6/20/15 - 8/30/15

Max Boersma and Christopher Borschel

Class of 2016, Graduate Program in the History of Art

The work of Charles and Maurice Prendergast oscillated in and out of its own time. The brothers forged hybrid approaches to early twentieth-century American art by incorporating formative European travel, rich knowledge of both the history of art and modern artistic movements, and keen observations of public life. This exhibition explores how time functions as a mutable phenomenon across their practices through subject matter, materials, and technique.

Organized in four sections—Travel, the History of Art, Leisure, and Myth—each section points to a persistent, generative interest throughout the Prendergasts’ careers as well as demonstrates specific ways time manifests in their work. Rather than present these works as determined solely by the moments in which they were made, we wanted to frame them as revealing different modes of inhabiting time and forming connections between historical periods. The Prendergasts sampled from past artistic strategies and condensed them with experiences from their own day.

The Loosening of Time includes paintings, works on paper, decorative objects, and archival materials drawn from WCMA’s extensive Prendergast holdings—the largest collection in the world. Including both major and lesser-known works, this exhibition is arranged thematically in order to enable ways of looking across the brothers’ oeuvres. We highlighted some of their long-standing artistic and temporal concerns as well as the diverse means and materials used to pursue them.

Selected works