Abstract Expressionism
on view at Guggenheim Bilbao

After a highly praised run at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, "Abstract Expressionism" is at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, through June 4. This is its only other venue.

Organized by David Anfam, Edith Devaney, and Lucía Agirre, the exhibition presents an ambitious selection of works by the artists who spearheaded a major shift and new apogee in painting in New York, beginning in the 1940s. Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, David Smith, and Clyfford Still are just some of the artists in the show, which brings together more than 130 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs from public and private collections all over the world. This exhibition sheds new light on Abstract Expressionism, a diverse, complex, and multifaceted phenomenon which is often erroneously viewed as a unified whole. The presentation in Bilbao has been made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Fundación BBVA, and with support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Works by Willem de Kooning on view in "Abstract Expressionism" at Guggenheim Bilbao.

"Jackson Pollock: Exploring Alchemy" at Guggenheim New York  

Jackson Pollock's Alchemy , one of his earliest poured paintings, is a celebrated icon of postwar abstraction that Peggy Guggenheim acquired through her financial support of the artist. Normally on permanent display at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, it has traveled to New York as part of "Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim." This is the first time Alchemy has been seen in the United States since 1969.

The fascinating story of the painting's recent conservation is told in "Jackson Pollock: Exploring Alchemy," on view through September 6 in the Guggenheim's Sackler Center for Arts Education--a high-tech exploration of the physical properties of the materials the artist used to create Alchemy and how he applied them to the canvas. Video footage and interactive kiosks display three-dimensional imaging, elemental mapping, x-radiography, and non-destructive analytical techniques to identify the painting's pigments and binders. Visitors will also see a piece of the quilting frame on which Alchemy was painted and a selection of Pollock's paints and implements, lent by the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. 


The photo above shows the items as installed in Venice, where the exhibition was on view in 2015.


NYSCA Supports 2017 Programs

The New York State Council on the Arts has awarded the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center a $12,500 grant for 2017, including support for the museum's ambitious exhibition, "Abstract Expressionism Behind the Iron Curtain," which will open on August 3. The show comprises paintings from the 1950s and '60s by five artists from Communist Bloc countries: Croatia, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Slovenia. It will examine a little-known aspect of the postwar European avant-garde--one with strong ties to American and French abstraction--which persisted in spite of benign neglect and active suppression during the Soviet era. Works are being lent by several eastern European museums and the Fundatia Joana Grevers in Bucharest.


Tadeusz Kantor (Polish, 1915-1990), Composition, 1958. Oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 59 1/2 in. Muzeum Sztuki, Łódz.


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