The Apollo Circle at the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a night with curator Randall Griffey on 16 January 2019.
We learned about the museum’s new exhibit, Epic Abstraction. It has gotten a lot of attention which is best described as “bumpy.”
Pollock to Herrera: This title of the show represents in Pollock the collection strength, and in Herrera the aspirational collection growth.
Meeting Curator Randall Griffey
I got to meet him and shake his hand!
He was very cool. Many people in the audience appreciated his great style and candid nature with us.
The Exhibit: Epic Abstraction
This is a lens for which to look at Abstraction. We think about “Epic” in terms of the ideas and the concepts on display.
Jackson Pollock Fun Facts
- He is from Cody, Wyoming.
- He was Thomas Hart Benton’s student until they had a big blowout / breakup.
- Pollock helped mix eggs and make tempura for the America Today mural at the Met and is allegedly a model for one of the figures.
Jackson Pollock “reinvented painting as a physical performance.” For him, the canvas becomes an arena in which to act.
This next picture is not a Jackson Pollock painting, but I just felt the post needed another picture:
Abstract Art Quote from Barnett Newman
We felt the moral crisis of a world in shambles, a world devastated by a Great Depression and a fierce World War, and it was impossible at that time to paint the kind of painting that we were doing — flowers, reclining nudes, people playing the cello… So we actually began … as if painting were not only dead but had never existed. – Barnett Newman, 1967
This quote captures a sense that “the world had changed” after World War II.
My Favorite Painting In The Show
I really like La Vie en Rose by Joan Mitchell, 1979.
It’s a nice exhibit. It’s controversial; check out some of the reviews online. This exhibit has more women artists than any other exhibit in these galleries has had before (kudos!). I really enjoyed getting to hear the curator candidly share facts and stories from “Behind the Scenes” to the Apollo Circle group.
- Met Museum Press Release: Epic Abstraction
- Upcoming Apollo Circle Events: you should join the Apollo Circle! It’s an under-40 membership group with VIP access, curatorial tours, special exhibits, and more. I’ve been a member for years and love it.
- Claire Boston was my date, she’s a journalist at Bloomberg who writes about credit and bonds.
Kathleen F. G. Hutton: Love the bigger and richer story of Midcentury modern Abstraction that emerges when woman artists Mitchell, Harriman, Krasner et al. are included! I think Mitchell’s paintings are gorgeous—thanks—