The Parrish Art Museum is organizing James Brooks: A Painting is a Real Thing, a comprehensive survey of significant scope comprised of some fifty paintings drawn from public and private U.S. collections. Throughout his long and prolific career James Brooks (1906–1992) advocated, with a messianic zeal, the primacy of paint—what happens on the surface—as the only authentic “subject” of a work of art. He embraced experimentation and shied away from developing any dominant method or style in order to avoid, as he once put it, “one’s own pictorial clichés.” Color alone remains the consistent and essential component in Brooks’s work. James Brooks: A Painting is a Real Thing will be shown at the Parrish from August 8 through October 25, 2020.
The important work done over the past decades to illuminate the contributions of historically marginalized and overlooked women has largely concentrated on white painters associated with the postwar, 20th-century New York school’s abstract expressionism. While Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and others among their contemporaries have rightfully been ensconced in the pantheon of great American abstract artists, many more—from all periods—remain neglected by scholars and museums alike. This exhibition proposes a different way of looking at abstraction in American art.
Drawn almost entirely from the permanent collection, Women and Abstraction: 1741–Now is not a comprehensive survey. Instead, this installation takes advantage of the Addison’s deep holdings to explore a more nuanced and expansive history of the development of abstraction in America. Through the inclusion of works created hundreds of years before the advent of abstract expressionism as well as objects historically denied the status of fine art, this exhibition explores how women have deployed the visual language and universal formal concerns of abstraction—color, line, form, shape, contrast, pattern, and texture—to create works of art across a wide variety of media (including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, ceramics, and textiles) from the 18th century to the present day. Rejecting chronology, hierarchies of medium, and the restrictive definitions of art movements, Women and Abstraction invites the viewer to draw aesthetic connections across seemingly disparate objects, complicating ingrained notions of what abstraction is and is not.
One of the typical measures of success for artists is the ability to quit their day jobs and focus full time on making art. Yet these roles are not always an impediment to an artist’s career. This exhibition illuminates how day jobs can spur creative growth by providing artists with unexpected new materials and methods, working knowledge of a specific industry that becomes an area of artistic interest or critique, or a predictable structure that opens space for unpredictable ideas.
How does one experience a photograph that appears “unphotographic”? Focusing on the material and tactile properties of the medium, Direct Contact: Cameraless Photography Now is the first contemporary survey to examine cameraless photography across generations, cultures, and ideologies. Referred to as photograms or contact prints, cameraless photographs are made using analogue photography’s foundational elements: light, chemistry, and light-sensitive surfaces.
Presenting recent work by over 40 artists–including Yto Barrada, Iñaki Bonillas, Ellen Carey, Hernease Davis, Sheree Hovsepian, Roberto Huarcaya, Kei Ito, Dakota Mace, Fabiola Menchelli, Lisa Oppenheim, Daisuke Yokota, among many others–Direct Contact highlights many emerging global artists and features primarily women-identifying artists. Unfolding across five sections–Age, Scale, Form, Texture, and Value–Direct Contact positions cameraless photography as both an intellectual cornerstone in the medium’s history and an enduring and important force within contemporary art.
The exhibition is curated by Lauren Richman, Assistant Curator of Photography.
As part of the centennial celebrating the life and work of Richard Diebenkorn, we are presenting a chronological survey featuring 20 prints from Diebenkorn’s color printmaking sessions at Crown Point Press, including color woodcuts produced at its program in Kyoto, Japan. Diebenkorn made his first color prints at Crown Point Press in 1980 and produced many more over the following 13 years. Highlights of this exhibition include his largest print, Green, 1986, and his last prints, High Green Version I and Version II, completed shortly before his death in 1993.
This exhibition takes place during the artist’s centennial, a year-long series of museum installations and new scholarship celebrating the life and art of Richard Diebenkorn (1922 – 1993). #Diebenkorn100
The exhibition examines the creative interplay between Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel in transatlantic exchange and dialogue, from the mid-1940s to the end of the Cold War.
See an intimate and interactive installation of famed Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn’s paintings and sketchbooks that shed light on the artist’s process, including his shift from figurative to more abstract work.
During the 1930s and 1940s, abstraction began to gain momentum as an exciting, fresh approach to modern artmaking in the United States, and a small contingent of American artists dedicated themselves to it. Labyrinth of Forms, a title inspired by an Alice Trumbull Mason work in the exhibition, alludes to the sense of discovery that drove these artists to establish a visual language reflecting the advances of the twentieth century.
A significant number of American abstractionists were women, and their efforts propelled the formal, technical, and conceptual evolution of abstract art in this country. A few, such as Lee Krasner and Louise Nevelson, have been duly recognized, but most remain overlooked despite their contributions. With over thirty works by twenty-seven artists drawn almost entirely from the Whitney’s collection, Labyrinth of Forms highlights both the achievements of these artists and the ways in which works on paper served as sites for important exploration and innovation.
Mujeres de la abstracción (Women in Abstraction) sets out to write the history of the contributions made by “female artists” to abstraction in the 20th century, through to about the 1980s, with a few original incursions into the 19th century. Exhibition organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera will begin in the 1940s and extend into the twenty-first century to explore large-scale abstract painting, sculpture, and assemblage through more than fifty works from The Met collection, a selection of loans, and promised gifts and new acquisitions. Iconic works from The Met collection, such as Jackson Pollock's classic "drip" painting Autumn Rhythm (1950) and Louise Nevelson's monumental Mrs. N's Palace (1964–77), will be shown in conversation with works by international artists, such as Japanese painter Kazuo Shiraga and the Hungarian artist Ilona Keserü. The exhibition will be punctuated with special loans of major works by Helen Frankenthaler, Carmen Herrera, Shiraga, Joan Snyder, and Cy Twombly.
In the wake of unprecedented destruction and loss of life during World War II, many painters and sculptors working in the 1940s grew to believe that traditional easel painting and figurative sculpture no longer adequately conveyed the human condition. In this context, numerous artists, including Barnett Newman, Pollock, and others associated with the so-called New York School, were convinced that abstract styles—often on a large scale—most meaningfully evoked contemporary states of being. Many of the artists represented in Epic Abstraction worked in large formats not only to explore aesthetic elements of line, color, shape, and texture but also to activate scale's metaphoric potential to evoke expansive—"epic"—ideas and subjects, including time, history, nature, the body, and existential concerns of the self.