The North Carolina Museum of Art will open an exhibit Saturday of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha.
Mucha is known for his iconic style seen on posters and advertisements, particularly of women, from the turn of the 20th century.
The exhibit shares the artist’s story, but local elements also interpret his work in modern ways.
Here’s what you’ll find at Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary:
A conversation on modern beauty
The NCMA commissioned three portraits inspired by Mucha’s ‘Reverie’ from local artists.
Lumbee artist Alisha Locklear Monroe said her work, ‘Blessings,’ shows a Lumbee woman with a tobacco plant. A pattern depicted in pottery and beadwork is surrounding the woman, in Mucha’s style.
Painter and muralist Tori “FNoRD” Carpenter, who is a disabled artist working with Arts Access, said her piece ‘La Beauté de la Confiance (The Beauty of Confidence)’ shows beauty through a plus-sized woman with modern tattoos.
Lakeshia T. Reid, a Black painter and owner of 311 Gallery, said in a release that her interpretation is titled ‘Healing in a Weeping Place.’ Beauty means “exuding strength, confidence and vulnerability, self-acceptance, and respect.”
A prompt in the exhibit itself asks: ‘What is Beauty Today?’ and invites attendees to respond with their own definitions.
Art for the people
Mucha created work that was intended to bring art to a wider public.
Posters art is ubiquitous now, but then his creation of panels without advertising for the purpose of decor was a statement.
In line with Mucha’s work, the Modern Beauty campaign will bring art to a larger audience:
An installation at Citrix will be on First Friday from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 5 in Downtown Raleigh. An installation in North Hills is anticipated by mid-November.
The billboards at the NCMA Museum Park, Park Pictures, will show student work with diverse versions of beauty in Mucha’s Art Noveau style in mid-November.
Local wallpaper celebrates NC and Mucha’s many formats
Alphonse Mucha first became widely known for his poster of Parisian actress and director Sarah Bernhardt, but his work ranged from posters and advertisements to decor, such as fireplace design, fabrics and wallpapers.
Appropriately, wallpaper in the style of Mucha was designed specifically for the NCMA exhibit, featuring four native plants found in the NCMA Museum Park: Virginia Iris, Columbine, Rattlesnake Master and Southern Maidenhead Fern.
The print is available for purchase in partnership with Durham-based Spoonflower in the museum shop.
The wallpaper serves as a backdrop for a photo background and among the artwork.
If you go
Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary opens Saturday at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
The ticketed exhibit is on sale now.
When: The exhibit is on display Saturday until Jan. 23, 2022. The hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
More info: Exhibit website