Over the next six months or so, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will do quite a bit of aesthetic globe-trotting. From the undeniable artistry of the Japanese film director, producer, writer and, last but not least, director, Hayao Miyazaki -- currently being celebrated in Miyazaki at the Modern: Masterpieces of Animation -- to the gritty, unsparingly honest art scene born of 1980s New York in Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s – the Modern has perhaps never travelled as far and wide over the contemporary art landscape.

For Miyazaki at the Modern, running through August 23, the museum has worked hand in glove with the Lone Star Film Society’s ArthouseFW division. Together, the two institutions are presenting as much of the protean life’s work of Miyazaki as possible, given the undeniable fact that his creative output came over the course of 60 years. Miyazaki has become synonymous with the distinctively Japanese cinematic story-telling technique known as “anime.” In fact, so successful was Miyazaki at his particular craft, that he often invited comparisons to that other global shogun of all animation: Walt Disney, along with Britain’s Nick Park, and that other master of child-like, imaginative film-making, Steven Spielberg. To many in and out of cinema, Miyazaki is considered the ultimate master, the animators’ guru.

With last year’s dramatic announcement of Miyazaki’s stepping away from the animator’s easel, this retrospective of his work takes on even greater weight. The lushness of the classic, 35mm format will be used to present the Miyazaki screenings. One of Miyazaki’s masterpieces, Spirited Away, will be screened on August 16 in its purest form: An undubbed iteration (done in Japanese, complete with English sub-titles).

A mere month after the conclusion of the Miyazaki at the Modern show, opens the museum’s fall spectacular: Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s. A special exhibition organized by the museum’s supremely talented and visionary chief curator, Michael Auping, this show will laser-in on the at-times harmonious and anarchic, and chaotically creative art scene of 1980s New York. An incubator of some of the last 50 years' most innovative and provocative art, New York in the 1980s became an alchemic cauldron for so much of that world, informed by cartoons to consumer trends, high and low culture to street art. The art scene, spawned on New York’s meanest and most tony streets, was, in Auping’s words, the “wildest…loudest, and the most intense” of anywhere in the world. This exhibition will show it all, from the City’s “Bad Boys” to art inspired by latter day expressionists, through inspired graffiti masters. The museum will devote a staggering 25,000 square feet to this show, allowing it to accommodate massively scaled iconic works by, among others, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Laurie Anderson, Francesco Clemente, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Robert Mappelthorpe, Kenny Scharf, among many others.       

 

Details:

Miyazaki at the Modern: Masterpieces of Animation (through August 23) at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth. 

Note that Japanese refreshments (Taiyaki and green tea punch) will be offered in the museum’s main lobby following the showing of Nausicaa. In addition refreshments and a special gallery dialogue will be conducted following the showing of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Tickets are $9 ($8 for Modern members, and $6 for Lone Star members or Modern Reel People, $5 for kids under 12, and its free for ArthouseFW pass-holders). Advance ticket purchases can be made through lonestarfilmsociety.com, or through the Modern’s general number: 817-738-9215. More information: http://www.themodern.org/.

Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s, September 21-Jauary 4, 2015. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth. General admission (includes special exhibition admission): $10 for adults, $4 for students with ID and seniors 60-years and above. More information: 817-738-9215; http://www.themodern.org/.