Empirical examination and scientific analysis are fundamental to conservation research and treatment; conservators frequently collaborate with scientists in order to clarify specific questions: to identify materials, elucidate degradation mechanisms, or test the efficacy of conservation methods.
Posts tagged ‘Abstract Expressionism’
MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: One: Number 31, 1950—Characterizing the Paint Surface Part 2
When we visit MoMA we expect to see works of art made by artists, but seldom do we hear firsthand from the artists themselves about the works on display—while we stand directly in front of them! The recently concluded series Abstract Expressionist New York: Artist-Led Gallery Talks offered MoMA visitors this unique opportunity.
The 1958 Philip Guston drawing Head – Double View is currently on view in The Big Picture, the fourth-floor installment of MoMA’s Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition. One floor down, in the complementary show Ideas Not Theories: Artists and the Club, 1942-1962, the black-on-white composition appears again, this time on the cover of an album by the American composer Morton Feldman. Feldman—who was friends with many of the artists associated with the New York School, Guston in particular—featured the drawing on the jacket of his 1959 Columbia Masterworks release New Directions in Music 2.
As a writer, more specifically a poet, I like to turn to art as a source of inspiration. The relationship between the written and the visual presents itself best in the form of collaboration, where both mediums can share the same space. Collaborations between writers and artists can range from artist books and performances to publications and series of prints. The current Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition shines a light on one of my favorite poets and well-known collaborators: Frank O’Hara.
At the beginning of the video on the painting techniques of Barnett Newman that we produced for MoMA’s Abstract Expressionist New York iPad app (and the exhibition’s website), Corey D’Augustine, a conservator and instructor of the on-site and online course Materials and Techniques of Postwar Abstract Painting tells this story:
When I began teaching at MoMA several years ago, I realized that it was the perfect place to use my background as a conservator, artist, and art historian, since the collection already provided the best learning resource: the artworks themselves.
In one of the videos we produced for the current Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition, Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture and the organizer of the exhibition, tells this story about Jackson Pollock:
Regular visitors to the Museum will have noticed that the fourth-floor Painting and Sculpture Galleries have undergone a complete reinstallation. These spaces, which are typically used to exhibit a broad survey of the Museum’s collection, are now home to Abstract Expressionist New York: The Big Picture</a>, an exhibition featuring approximately 170 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs associated with the movement that put New York on the art world map more than fifty years ago.
The end of summer often means time to go back to school. For those of us at MoMA, it also means a slew of new exhibitions. And this fall we have quite a bounty, many of which are accompanied by a special online feature. For today, we present five websites for five exhibitions:
American painter Jackson Pollock came of age at a time when jazz was very popular; the big bands were swinging on the radio, and he was drawn to it. In selecting the seven painters for the Portrait in Seven Shades suite, I was drawn to Pollock and his work because although he was reclusive, I believe music gave him a sense of belonging, a connection to society. Pollock moved away from figurative art and became known as an Abstract Expressionist. Once, when asked, “What is modern art?” he answered, “Modern art to me is nothing more than the expression of contemporary aims of the age that we’re living in.”
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