I attended the “Action/Abstraction” show at The Saint Louis Art Museum this past Sunday which highlighted Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, along with a selection of their contemporaries of the New York School from 1940-1976, the development of their methods and it’s impact on Western art, and the role of rival art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg in shaping both the artists of the new school as well as public perception of this movement’s break from formal tradition in art. Great stuff! I hadn’t felt this inspired by a museum show since “Beckmann in Paris” back in 1999. This is the kind of work best experienced firsthand- seeing it in an art history text is deceiving, “Mountains & Sea” 1952 by Helen Frankenthaler for example shocked me by it’s size a surface complexity, as did several of the Pollocks & de Koonings.
The excitement inside me had been building in anticipation of this event, and I was electrified by the experience- I felt romantic like back in my old art school days! I’m a dork, too- I even took notes in my sketchbook as I went along with the I-Pod stops throughout, and I coughed up $40.95 for the accompanying book in my quest for more knowledge about this complicated time & movement.
This show came at an important time for me as I am currently working on two “abstractish” pieces to be shown in November. I became so excited after my Sunday art excursion that I raced home & made eleven abstract drawings in my sketchbook, some of which I have featured here for your amusement.
I hope these scribbles find you on your own quest for knowledge at what you yearn to excel at. In the meantime I shall be scratching my head while reading this fine tome I purchased on Sunday, attempting to crack the code of Modern Art and understand how it has affected our collective sensibilities.
Multiple Pasts + Potential Next: A Conversation in Time and Space - Elizabeth Metzger Sampson considers Lindsey Dorr-Niro and Lisa Vinebaum's mirroring exhibitions at Sector 2337 in Chicago.