major exhibition now open in London
For the first time since 1959, London is playing host to a major survey of America's most significant contribution to modern art. Abstract Expressionism, on view at the Royal Academy of Art through January 2, is a blockbuster selection of paintings by Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, Franz Kline and other artists associated with the New York School in the 1940s and 1950s–163 works in all, including photographs and sculptures.
Pollock's premier position is acknowledged with several important canvases, including two monumental ones: his 1943 mural for Peggy Guggenheim, which has been touring Europe for the past year and a half; and Blue Poles, 1952, on loan from the National Gallery of Australia.
The exhibition, organized by independent curator David Anfam with the assistance of Edith Devaney, the RA's contemporary art curator, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such a collection of Ab Ex masterpieces. It will travel to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao from February 3–June 4, 2017.
The Figurative Pollock
now on view at Kunstmuseum Basel
Concurrently with Abstract Expressionism, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London through January 2, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, is presenting an exhibition of Jackson Pollock's lesser-known representational and semi-abstract works in which recognizable imagery is evident.
The Figurative Pollock–featuring some 100 paintings and works on paper–surveys Pollock's figurative oeuvre, tracing his creative evolution from the mid-1930s to his early death in an automobile accident in 1956. The exhibition, on view through January 22, includes major loans from private collections as well as important works from museums in Europe, the United States, Australia, and Japan. It provides only glimpses of the innovative poured paintings the artist produced in the short period between 1947 and 1950.
The absence of those famous canvases is a deliberate omission, drawing attention to the continuity linking the frequently marginalized works of the 1930s and 1940s to the well-known canvases from the 1950s. The selection includes an imposing set of 1951 black paintings–the works Pollock created immediately after abandoning his signature style–as well as his last pictures from the 1950s, which insistently probe the question of the figure.
Artists and Lovers
also on view in London
Mister Blue, a 1966 canvas by Lee Krasner, and Jackson Pollock's Untitled (Silver Square), 1950, are featured in Artists and Lovers, on view through October 29 at Ordovas, in Savile Row, London. The exhibition traces a number of the greatest artistic partnerships of the mid-20th century to suggest how love and friendship can shape the creative process.
The selection aims to bring fresh perspectives to intriguing and significant artistic alliances, from well-known couples such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to more private artistic pairings, including the long friendship between Joseph Cornell and Yayoi Kusama. Works by Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy; Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning; Elaine and Willem de Kooning; Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns; Merce Cunningham and John Cage, and Donald Judd and Lauretta Vinciarelli are also included.
The exhibition will travel to Ordovas' New York City gallery at 9 East 77th Street from November 4 through January 7.