This exhibition brings together a selection of California artists who emerged following the Second World War and took advantage of the region’s permissive atmosphere to help create a thriving new art scene. Artists like John Altoon, Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, George Herms, and Edward Kienholz were part of a “Beat” generation, whose social critiques would eventually be incorporated into the counterculture and social protest movements that shaped the second half of the 20th century.
The solo exhibition highlights DeFeo’s Samurai series, a body of paintings on heavy paper influenced by DeFeo’s 1985 trip to Japan as well as the exhibition Spectacular Helmets of Japan, 16 – 19th Century, which she viewed the same year in San Francisco.
Women of Abstract Expressionism is the first major museum exhibition to focus on the groundbreaking women artists affiliated with the Abstract Expressionist movement during its seminal years, between 1945 and 1960.
Allan D'Arcangelo, Jay DeFeo, Martha Rosler and Tom Wesselmann at the Whitney Museum
America Is Hard to See
May 1 - September 27, 2015
When the Whitney Museum of American Art opens its new Renzo Piano-designed home in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on May 1, 2015, the first exhibition on view will be an unprecedented selection of works from the Museum’s renowned permanent collection. Setting forth a distinctly new narrative, America Is Hard to See presents fresh perspectives on the Whitney’s collection and reflects upon art in the United States with over 600 works by some 400 artists, spanning the period from about 1900 to the present. The exhibition—its title is taken from a poem by Robert Frost and also used by the filmmaker Emile de Antonio for one of his political documentaries—is the most ambitious display to date of the Whitney’s collection.
California Landscape Into Abstraction: Works from the Permanent Collection of OCMA
December 15, 2013 - March 2, 2014
One of the recurring themes in California art over the past century is the relationship between abstraction and landscape. Particularly in Southern California, a deep schism opened up in the 1930s between naturalist landscape painters and those of a more modernist inclination, and the breach has never entirely healed. This exhibition, drawn entirely from OCMA’s collection, explores ways in which artists from the West Coast have played a role in transforming landscape into abstraction and then back again.
Experiments in the Fault Zone traces some of the key moments and pivotal artistic figures in the arts at Mills from the 1930s to the present, and showcases the College’s internationally renowned commitment to experimentation and collaboration across the fine arts.
Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art
Juen 28 - October 27, 2013
Highlights of the SFMOMA's Collection
Beyond Belief is an expansive exhibition exploring the spiritual dimensions of modern art, especially as seen through the lens of Jewish theological concepts. The exhibition features forty-eight internationally-known artists whose work—painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation art—are all drawn from SFMOMA’s outstanding collection. Ranging from a 1914 abstraction by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian to a luminous 1960 abstraction by Mark Rothko and oversized prayer beads by contemporary artist Zarina, Beyond Belief provides an engaging alternative that prioritizes spirituality in the reading of art.
Screened in conjunction with Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective, Bruce Conner’s short film, THE WHITE ROSE (1967), chronicles the removal of DeFeo’s nearly one-ton masterpiece, The Rose (1958-66), from her second-story San Francisco studio.
A riveting follow-up to last year’s Jay DeFeo retrospective at the Whitney Museum, this exhibition of drawings, photographs and photocopies finds this artist moving past her ponderous masterpiece, “The Rose,” in fits and starts.
"That’s why a show like the one currently up at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which homes in on her post-“Rose” output until her death in 1989, is still direly important. The gallery curators have mined DeFeo’s archives to present works never before exhibited, including photographs, photocopies, and collages, next to more well-known pieces such as “Tuxedo Junction” (1965/1974) and “Seven Pillars of Wisdom No. 6” (1989). Laid out according to subject rather than chronology, the effect is that of a forensic case study, tracing a path from the everyday objects she called her “models” to her “portraits” — incisive studies she made across media — to her paintings, where the original subject is less abstracted than obscured by the history of her experimentation and transformations."