At about the same time Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock was losing himself to depression, Matisse’s longterm relationship with his wife was unwinding, and when Mondrian was discovering Cubism, Miró was delving into Surrealism. All these little landmarks of 10 abstract painters’ lives have been charted into infographic form, so you can contrast the timelines of what it takes to be an artist.
Angelo Plessas is a net artist whose works predominately deal with color, interactivity and sound. “Re-Twittering Machine” (2012) caught my attention because of the ever growing hype around social media’s role in social unrest like the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement.
The Museum of Modern Art’s sprawling re-envisioning of Abstract Expressionism, “Abstract Expressionist New York,” inspires a lot of looking. The stately museum’s upper floor galleries, previously dedicated to the slow progress of abstraction in modern art, have been shuffled around to get a better view of exactly how the movement we came to call Abstract Expressionism developed.
It was one particular showing that caught my eye and really caused me to stop in my tracks and rethink where I pigeonholed these artists. Standing sentinel on one back wall were two works that cohered together perfectly, paintings whose muted colors became bright and whose architectonic compositions were like an abstract expressionism slowed down and frozen in time. Upon closer approach, I noticed that the pieces were by Robert Motherwell, an artist I was aware of and respected, but didn’t enormously enjoy. Yet something about these two paintings, “Western Air” (1946-47) and “Personage, with Yellow Ochre and White” (1947) made me reconsider.