5.22.2009

Paper: Pressed, Stained, Folded, Slashed at MoMA, Part 2

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Last Friday Part 1 of this post appeared. I'd thought I was going to get to Part 2 sooner, but time has its own agenda.
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To recap: Paper: Pressed, Stained, Folded, Slashed contemplates the witty, sumptuous, violent and playful materiality of paper in work by some of the art world's big guns, who were merely pistols when these works were made, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s.
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Above: Robert Rauschenberg, Cardbird VI, 1971
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Standing in the anteroom, where Rauschenberg's Cardbird commands the first look, we peek into the large first gallery. I've included this image so that you can imagine entering the gallery and looking to your left. What you'd see is below: a crumpled drawing by Oldenberg--I'm surprised by how much I like it--and another work, in handmade paper (remember when that was the big thing?) by Rauschenberg.


Claes Oldenberg and Robert Rauschenberg, with closeups below


Oldenberg's Flag to Fold in the Pocket, 1961, ink and crayon on paper, 29.5 x 47 inches, above;

Rauschenberg's, Page 4 from the series Pages and Fuses, 1974, two sheets of handmade paper in plexi frames with twine, each 15 x 20 inches




Lucio Fontana, installation view of four of Six Original Etchings, 1964, portfolio of six embossed etchings; one of the works below


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If you take the time to access the exhibition website, click onto Fontana's Concetto Spaziale (Spatial Concept), a gold accordion book with a visual narrative of negative space. Fontana's work is almost half a century old now, yet it still bristles with enough energy to make you realize just how daring, even transgressive, it was when it was made.
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While you're at it, click onto the navigable view of Lygia Pape's Book of Creation, a collection of gouache-on-paperboard constructions, each 12 x 12 inches. To be honest, the installation suggests a design project, but there are some appealing elements in it, especially the geometry of the detail below:
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Lygia Pape, Book of Creation, 1959-60, gouache on paperboard, each 12 x 12 inches
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It's not all old school. This work by Nancy Rubins, while still 20th Century (1997), is much more contemporary. I hadn't realized how much it has in common with Rauschenberg until now. Good thing I shot the work and its label; it's not on the MoMA website at all. That's an oversite.
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Nancy Rubins, Untitled, 1997, pencil on paper
Detail below

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My favorite is the small work in the second gallery by Howardena Pindell. It's shown below. Hung in an installation with other small works, Untitled (#7) is a sculptural pastiche of the dots from hole-punched paper, thread, and other materials. It's a reconstruction of a deconstruction, a small sculptural plot of process and materiality preserved from the early 1970s. I love it.


Howardena Pindell, Untitled (#7), 1973, ink on punched and pasted paper, talcum powder, and thread on paper; 10 1/8 x 8 3/8 inches
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Wall installation, below, with Pindell's work at the middle right



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4 comments:

lisa said...

Just the other day I scanned slides of my old sculpture (1979-81) for a power point-talk about influences...........looks like many are represented in this show-thanks for the peak this week and last. Can't wait to see it.

Stephanie Clayton said...

Fascinating and contemplative. Paper is a humble yet captivating medium when used in unexpected ways.

As a painter, it's refreshing to experience art which has a relatively short shelf-life (compared to that of tradition paint materials). It's a reminder that the real beauty- from the artist's standpoint- is in the process. The lifespan of the work is of less concern than the present state.

I wandered over to the MOMA link for more...worth a look or visit in person.

Good post.

Hylla said...

Pindell's work is "Mudra" with a little bit of "Verso." It's the best on the blog but shouldn't it be square?

Ian MacLeod said...

Joanne, Nancy Rubins piece is beautiful. thanks for this posting. ian