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Indepth Arts News:

"The Rival of Painting: The Lithographs of Albert Belleroche"
2001-02-24 until 2001-05-27
San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego, CA, USA United States of America

As part of the San Diego Museum of Art's 75th anniversary celebration, a special exhibition of lithographs by turn-of-the-century French printmaker Albert Belleroche (1864-1944) will showcase some never before exhibited works from the Museum's extensive holdings of this master printmaker's art. Heralded by both his contemporary critics and modern art historians, Belleroche's experimental work was at the forefront of the renaissance of lithography, which began to emerge as an independent art form during the artist's lifetime.

Steven Kern, the Museum's curator of European art, has selected forty examples from the 129 Belleroche lithographs owned by the Museum for The Rival of Painting. The variety of works chosen for the exhibition reveal the entire scope of Belleroche's experimental approach to the medium of lithography. These prints document the process of lithography's transformation from a predominantly commercial medium, to one of self expression in the hands of one of its most innovative practitioners explains Don Bacigalupi, the Museum's executive director.

The Collection

With the exception of only two works, all of the Belleroche lithographs in the Museum's holdings were acquired through the generous donations of museum trustee George C. Kenney II, his wife Olga Kitsakos-Kenney, and their daughter Elizabeth. The Kenneys are among a generation of younger collectors and supporters of the Museum and, at twelve years of age, Elizabeth is the youngest donor of a work of art to the collection on record. All nine lithographs recently donated by Elizabeth will form part of the exhibition.

According to Bacigalupi, The Kenneys are to be commended for making such a remarkable portion of their personal art collection accessible to the community through their generous and continuing donations to our institution. The Museum is now the largest repository of Belleroche's art in North America, rivaling such esteemed collections as those of the Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique in Brussels, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the British Museum in London. San Diego residents, the Kenneys are active art collectors, with a special interest in European art. They have donated works of art to museums and art galleries throughout the country. In addition to the Belleroche lithographs, the Kenneys have also given the Museum two paintings by Belleroche, nine etchings by Rembrandt’s student Ferdinand Bol as well as many other works on paper by old master and 20th century artists.

Albert Belleroche
The Seamstress
Crayon on stone;
black ink on white wove paper, 1901.
Gift of George C. Kenney II and
Olga Kitsakos-Kenney, 1997:27.

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