The first exhibition devoted exclusively to the Abstract Expressionist’s vast, mural-sized works is on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York.
Finding a lot of forgettable work from renowned artists, and an unexpectedly happy encounter with a classic.
What if Abstract Expressionism never happened?
Robert Motherwell didn’t believe that Pablo Picasso or Henri Matisse were figures to be overthrown.
Gagosian has done it again: produced another museum-quality show, this one devoted to images of artists’ studios, as recorded in photographs (on view at its uptown gallery) and in paintings (installed at West 21st Street).
In 1950, when the painter Robert Motherwell invented the phrase “The School of New York,” he summed up its mission as “an activity of bodily gesture serving to sharpen consciousness.”
There may be some great-looking specimens of postwar art in Re-View: Onnasch Collection — an exhibition that turns Hauser & Wirth’s cavernous Chelsea outpost into a mini-museum offering the kind of intimate experiences that have been all but lost in New York’s uptown behemoths — but the show also arrives with some huge caveats.
What has really riveted the attention of the art world in the last few seasons is the law.
BASEL, Switzerland — Fifty-five years ago, the exhibition The New American Painting arrived at the Kunsthalle Basel. It was the first stop on a yearlong tour that touted the work of seventeen Abstract Expressionists before eight European countries — the first comprehensive exhibition to be sent to Europe showing the advanced tendencies in American painting. All but five of the original artists from the show had work on view at last weekend’s Art Basel, where postwar American painting and sculpture dominated the halls.
You might assume that when a person or an image has made it onto a US postal stamp, it’s gained mainstream approbation. The stamp might even spread that acceptance and influence, making more people aware of the subject. I’m inclined to agree. But this morning Hyperallergic marketing associate Kara Romano discovered the hard way that even though the Abstract Expressionist got their own batch of stamps two and a half years, not everyone knows who they are. Not even some postal workers.
The Museum of Modern Art’s Abstract Expressionist New York: The Big Picture, an ambitious exhibition that (kinda) rethinks the standard narrative of Abstract Expressionism (aka AbEx), has been open since October 3. The show complicates things by reintroducing us to artists not entirely within the AbEx canon, putting old favorites in a new context and shining a spotlight on the people and places of AbEx.
The question is: did MoMA and its curators accomplish their goal? We turn to the internet at large for a look at how people have reacted to the exhibition!
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.