Red with a Black and White Chaser

Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis, 1950-51, oil on canvas
Detail below

In this post we go back to MoMA for another look at the Abstract Expressionist show. Never mind that most of the artists you see here--Newman, Reinhardt, Rothko-- are chromatic abstractionists, it's the generation of art and artists the exhibition embraces. As I mentioned in a previous post about the exhibition, Abstract Expressionist New York is up through April 25. The work is all from the museum's holdings, so if you miss the show, you will see the work--just not all at once.  In a video on the MoMa website, curator Ann Temkin talks about the artists and their art:  

"What did they have in common? Not very much.  What did they share? An ultimately profound and urgent expression of self. Their art was their transformation . . . of the society in which they lived. . . . Today the contemporary art world is a huge industry. In the 1940s it couldn't have been more different. It was a tiny band of people interested in contemporary art."

Detail of the second-in-from-the-right "zip" in Newman's Vir Heroicus Sublimis
(I think this work is sublime, probably the most powerful painting in a show of powerful  paintings in a museum of powerful paintings. But the title--Man, Heroic and Sublime--seems to sum up the attitude of that generaton of male painters, no?)

Barnett Newman, Onement III, 1949, oil on canvas
Detail below

Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, Red and Abstract Painting (Blue), both 1952, oil on canvas
Before the black paintings there was . . . color

Detail of the red painting below
(photographed just below and just to the right of center)

Foreground, Hans Hoffman; in distance, Philip Guston

A roomful of Rothkos

And the black and white chasers:
Louise Nevelson, lithographs flanking the sculpture Ascending, 1951, painted wood

Closer view of Ascending, below

Alfred Leslie, The second Two-Panel Horizontal, 1958, oil on canvas
Detail below


peggy said...

Stunning images; and the details are a real treat. Thank you.

Franklin said...

I'm still recovering from that roomful of Rothkos. Wow.

CERULEAN said...

Great post, thank you! Since I saw an exhibition from Newman in Amsterdam in 1972 (I was blown away) he has always been a reference point for me.

Anonymous said...

nevelson knocked me out, esp the lithos

Casey Klahn said...

The Rothkos create their own light. The photo displays this phenomenon.

Now I know of Alfred Leslie. Thank you, Joanne!

Tamar said...

This is such a phenomenal exhibit. Love the Ad Reinhart paintings and all that intense red throughout the show. Thanks for the post.

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks for posting all these great pix. Those red, red, reds are fabulous and I love the details. I enjoyed seeing this show in person myself and walking into gallery after gallery of familiar paintings. Photographing whatever I liked was a kick not often enjoyed.

Debu Barve said...

Very nice post! Thanks for the detailed photographs of Newman, Reinhardt and Leslie paintings.

Cora said...

Thanks for a second look, and eye, on this terrific exhibit. I visited it with my 9 year old granddaughter who not only got it, but was engrossed in it. There is hope for "man"kind!

Anonymous said...

From Lynelle:

Thanks for the beauty and detail!
Works by Craig Baskin (not Leonard), are evocative of both Newman and Hoffman. Baskin's "NEXT", comprised of nine, 2ft. squares is abstract expressionism cubed x three and stunning in its clarity and color.
It is on the first page of his website.

pam farrell said...

Spent the afternoon at the Met on Saturday and found myself transfixed by the green Concord painting in the Modern gallery.

Thanks for posting this.

Jacqui Dodds said...

Oh I would love to go and see this exhibition at MOMA. I love the Newan paintings - they are so immediate.