Underscoring the distinction of Sheldon’s collection of twentieth-century abstract paintings, this exhibition features small-scale works that give insight to a wide range of abstraction’s visual vocabulary. These works offer close encounters with the materials and marks employed by various artists to create nonfigurative art.
Josef Albers (1888–1976), Polly Apfelbaum (born 1955), Burgoyne Diller (1906–1965), Morgan Russell (1886–1953), and Esphyr Slobodkina (1908–2002) are among the artists featured.
Small Abstractions is on view in the first floor north galleries, including the Charlotte and Charles Rain Gallery.
Exhibition support is provided by Kristen and Geoff Cline, Dillon Foundation, Karen and Robert Duncan, Melanie and Jon Gross, Roseann and Phil Perry, Union Bank & Trust, Donna Woods and Jon Hinrichs, Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and Sheldon Art Association.
Additional support is provided by Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services Community CARES Stabilization Grant, Humanities Nebraska and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and Nebraska Arts Council CARES grant.
MILES MCENERY GALLERY is delighted to present “The Responsive Eye Revisited: Then, Now, and In-Between.” The exhibition will open 14 January at 520 West 21st Street and will remain on view through 15 February 2020. A fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by David Pagel accompanies the exhibition. Pagel is an art critic who writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times as well as a Professor of Art Theory at Claremont Graduate University and an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum.
Paying tribute to the Museum of Modern Art’s 1965 exhibition entitled “The Responsive Eye,” Miles McEnery Gallery’s presentation of “The Responsive Eye Revisited,” sets forth a reinvigorated take on the iconic exhibition. Emphasizing the wonders of the perceptual and cognitive experiences created by abstraction, “The Responsive Eye Revisited” spotlights the ongoing, boundless impact of abstract art.
In the climate of the mid-1960s, the original exhibition generated widespread discussion about the value of viewer interaction in contemporary art. “The Responsive Eye,” looked to the future — the artists aimed to break free from the boundaries of the past, charged with the prospect of art’s ability to do the unprecedented. Including a range of materials, they rejected the exclusive notion that art is an extension of its creator’s inner sentiments, and gave precedence to the viewer’s unique and intimate interactions with a work of art.
“The Responsive Eye Revisited,” alternatively, looks to the past while remaining firmly grounded in the present. The exhibition includes a selection of works by contemporary artists — Beverly Fishman, Warren Isensee, Markus Linnenbrink, and Patrick Wilson — alongside artists who themselves participated in the original exhibition or were active in the decades in-between — Josef Albers, Karl Benjamin, Gene Davis, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, John McLaughlin, Kenneth Noland, and Al Held.
Illustrating an inclusive understanding of the power of abstract painting, “The Responsive Eye Revisited,” highlights how contemporary artists masterfully apply the medium of paint with a sensual quality capable of engaging both the mind and body. As David Pagel writes, “Although their materials are conventional, what they do with them is anything but. They make paint sing—silently and like nothing else out there.”
One of San Francisco’s most enigmatic figures, the artist known simply as Jess (1923–2004) quietly forged a body of work that privileged the mystical, whimsical, and absurd. Organized around three guiding themes—mythos (story), psyche (soul), and eros (desire)—this exhibition pairs Jess’s paintings and collages with pieces by other California artists, who together reflect the West Coast’s unusual romantic legacy.
Modern and contemporary art created in the American West, manifesting an independent spirit and embodying unique ideas, has been largely written out of the mainstream narrative of art history or placed in unhelpful contexts. Collecting on the Edge, featuring work by 172 artists from the collection of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University in Logan Utah, aims to correct that situation. Texts accompanying each artwork, by eighty-one critics, art historians, curators, gallerists, artists, and collectors, provide illuminating insights into the works and their creators.
In an introductory essay art critic Michael Duncan exposes the provincialism and regionalist thinking that has dictated mainstream views of modernism: “Many of the nation’s most daring, innovative, and iconoclastic works have been ignored…simply because they were made on the wrong side of the Mississippi.” This extensive catalogue also includes a substantial interview with visionary collector George Wanlass, who amassed these works over a thirty-year period, providing a rare glimpse of his philosophy and practice. An inclusive rewriting of the traditional narrative, with new perspectives on artists both familiar and unfamiliar, Collecting on the Edge is a must-have resource featuring material unavailable online or through any other publication.