This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Paul Schimmel, the former chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the curator of the new MOCA exhibition “Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962.” The show is accompanied by a fascinating catalogue from Skira Rizzoli.
The exhibition examines the way artists responded to the unprecedented killing and destruction of World War II by (often) literally attacking the picture plane. The show, which features 26 artists (but only three Americans) charts the way artists used abstraction to respond to a post-atomic world, and in so doing offers an alternate history about post-abstract expressionism abstract art.
Schimmel is one of the world’s most accomplished curators of contemporary art. His exhibitions have included: “Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s”; “Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition 1955–1962″; “Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979″; “Ecstasy: In and About Altered States”; and “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art, 1974–1981.”
Among the topics we discuss are:
- Why artists around the world reacted more starkly to World War II than they did to World War I;
- How so many artists on so many continents were engaged in near-simultaneous parallel investigations, and whether they knew what their peers were up to;
- The out-sized experience and influence of Italian physician and artist Alberto Burri; and
- The impact that these artists had on the art that came after them.
On the second segment, artist Gedi Sibony discusses his exciting installation for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis. Titled “In the Still Epiphany,” Sibony’s intervention features artworks by artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso in dialogue with each other, as well as in dialogue with installations Sibony has made from multiple objects. As usual, the Pulitzer’s website is chock full of fantastic installation shots taken by Sam Fentress, pictures that reveal the show in a way most installation shots do not. They’re must-see stuff.
Sibony’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in the United States and in Europe. His work has also been shown at the Sao Paulo and Berlin Biennials and in group shows at MoMA, the Hammer, the Walker Art Center and more. [Image: Installation shot from "In the Still Epiphany." Artwork credits here.]
The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click through to the jump.
Alberto Burri, Bianco (White), 1962. Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Alberto Burri, Bianco (White), 1955. Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
Alberto Burri, Sacco (Sackcloth), 1953. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Jean Fautrier, Head of a Hostage, No. 1, 1944. Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Lucio Fontana, Spacial Concept 52 B 24, 1952.
Antoni Tapies, Grey and Black Cross No. XXVI, 1955. Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Pablo Picasso, Fireplace, 1916-17. Collection of the St. Louis Art Museum.
Gedi Sibony installation for “In the Still Epiphany” at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis. Including: Roy Lichtenstein, Curtains, 1962. Collection of the St. Louis Art Museum; and an installation constructed by Sibony. Complete object credits here.
Gedi Sibony installation for “In the Still Epiphany” at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis. Including: Pablo Picasso, Woman in a Red Hat, 1934. Power Object (Boll), c. 20th century, Mali, Bamana.