With 91 works by 72 artists, Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia proves it’s a small world after all. The exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art is on view until July 10.
With works from the museum’s collection and large loans from local private collections, the exhibition reexamines artists’ experimentation with materials, techniques and forms in the decades following World War II. The exhibition focuses on post-war movements in East Asia, Latin America and the United States.
“What’s so special about this exhibition is that it brings together two regions of the world that we don’t usually talk about together,” said Dr Vivian Li, Curator of Contemporary Art Lupe Murchison and co- curator of this exhibition. “It’s a great new story that we’re building and expanding. “
A central theme of Slip zone This is how artists influence each other on a global scale, whether they know each other personally, formally or whether they are aware of new developments through publication. “There was this great global network and an exchange of ideas,” said Dr Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the Hoffman family’s senior curator for the Contemporary and co-curator of this exhibition.
Jackson pollock Figure kneeling in front of the arch with sculls is associated with that of David Alfaro Siqueiros Crepusculo. Siqueiros introduced Pollock to the use of industrial paints in 1936. This use of materials would inform Pollock of the use of non-traditional materials in his drip paints.
The exhibition features several artists from the Gutal Art Association in Osaka. The “Destroying the Paintbrush” gallery showcases the playfulness of these artists as they experimented with the creative process, turning the act of painting into a performance piece. “A lot of these works are not about meticulous painting techniques,” Li said. “But leaving the materials as they are, to activate the materials.”
Shiro Shimamoto created Bottle crash throwing glass bottles filled with paint and stones onto a canvas. Pieces of glass and rock can be seen embedded in the painting. The work follows Shimamoto’s bottle-throwing performance.
In another gallery, Shimamoto’s Untitled – Whirlpool is paired with Lynda Benglis’ Odalisque (Hey, hey Frankenthaler). Benglis created the vibrant artwork by using brightly colored paint to pigment the rubber latex and pouring the materials directly onto the floor. Likewise, Shimamoto poured several coats of paint onto the canvas, then removed brushes that acted as mediating tools so that viscous materials could determine the outcome of the work.
Drip Paintings by Pollock at Tokyo’s 3rd The Yomiuri Independent Exhibition in 1951 impressed Gutai frontman Jiro Yoshihara. Yoshihara appreciated Pollock’s distinctive technique. Pollock danced around the edge, throwing paint on the canvas until it was covered in drips and splashes.
Yoshihara proclaimed Pollock to be the best living artist in the United States. “It wasn’t about copying Pollock or his technique. He found a kinship in what Pollock was doing, ”Li said.
cathedral, one of Pollock’s first drip paintings, is associated with Kan’uncho, a work by Kazuo Shiraga. Shiraga dipped his feet in puddles of oil paint and slid across the canvas. He developed a rope system, allowing him to be suspended above the canvas so that he could create more graceful movements.
Outside the “Destroying the Paintbrush” gallery are two sculptural works that appear to be made from polished black material. At second glance, tiny ripples reveal the liquid nature of Nothingness phase by Nobuo Sekine. “If you look at it at first it might look like a solid steel rectangle,” Li said. “But it has been meticulously done by our installation team over the past couple of days. Everything is full of water.
The United States is represented by artists who pushed the optical and spatial effects of painting and sculpture, experimenting with new tools. Fred eversley Untitled (parabolic lens) draws inspiration from his career in engineering and refers to the interplay between material, color and light as the viewer moves around the work.
Ed clark Intarsia reflects the creative process using push brooms and its use of an elliptical shape is to imitate the shape of the eye. “He was one of the first American artists to create an irregularly shaped canvas in this fashion and attach it directly to the wall instead of being a framed rectilinear space,” Brodbeck said.
Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia is completed by Bosco Sodi: La Fuerzo del Destino, a series of 30 sculptures in the sculpture garden of the Dallas Museum of Art.
Sodi makes clay work by hand and then lets the pieces sit in the environment for eight months before firing them. “You’re not really supposed to shoot terracotta on this scale because it cracks and most people, if it’s too valuable, don’t want that cracking.” But he’s very drawn to this feature, ”said Brodbeck.
Marked by the artist and nature, the sculptures are scattered throughout the sculpture garden like breadcrumbs, leading visitors to discover the intersection between art and nature.
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