Martha Alf, Pears Series XIII #2, 1984-1985
Martha Alf (American, born 1930), Pears Series XIII #2, 1984-1985, graphite on paper, 12 x 18 in, Gift of a Private Donor.

Measure, Gesture, Form

Modern and Contemporary Drawings from a Recent Gift

Mar 26, 2016 – Aug 7, 2016

The Museum celebrates recent acquisitions in Measure, Gesture, Form: Modern and Contemporary Drawings from a Recent Gift, an exhibition highlighting work from a major bequest of modern and contemporary art received in 2013. More than 200 drawings, paintings, sculptures, and prints came to the Museum from this donor’s collection; in the will, the collector requested anonymity, preferring to keep “the emphasis on the artwork and the artist, not the donor.”

Measure, Gesture, Form features a selection of American and European drawings—made with graphite, brush and ink, charcoal, and mixed media—dating from 1958 to 2008. The show highlights the use of grids and seriality in work by Sean Scully, Joe Goode, and Brice Marden; rich explorations of form by Bruce Conner and Christopher Wool; gestural drawings by sculptors David Smith and Anthony Caro; and figurative work by Martha Alf and Lucian Freud, among others. Measure, Gesture, Form showcases the dynamic role of drawing over the last 50 years and honors the sensitive eye and focused interests of the donor. The exhibition will be the first opportunity for museum visitors to see these important works.

Organized by the Portland Art Museum and co-curated by Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings, and Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.


This exhibition is supported in part by the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Endowment for Graphic Arts and the Exhibition Series Sponsors.