Andrea Rosen Gallery: Robert Motherwell - Opens || Gallery 2: Stan VanDerBeek - Poemfield - 1 May 2015 to 20 June 2015
Robert Motherwell, Untitled (In Orange with Charcoal Lines). c. 1970
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas
Image courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
May 1 - June 20, 2015
"We have only to look at the force of one of the Opens...to feel the complexity of observation the painter requires of himself and the viewer." *
"...a subtle but firmly asserted spatial ambiguity that gives the picture a deep resonance and an aura of mystery."**
Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to announce a comprehensive exhibition of Robert Motherwell's seminal Open series. The gallery has an ongoing commitment to timely presentations of historical material, in this case highlighting a point in the artist's trajectory when a confluence of institutional, intellectual, and market attention brings renewed appreciation to a significant body of work. The gallery is particularly interested in creating historical exhibitions that expand the reading and understanding of an artist's work. While Motherwell's significance may have been perceived primarily through the gestural Elegies, presenting the Opens now not only allows us to compare these masterworks against the present-day focus on abstraction, but also encourages us to reconcile the breadth of Motherwell's rigor and clarity. They are undeniably fresh, beautiful, and bold.
Typically composed as single-color surfaces on which he has painted three charcoal lines, the Opens were a primary occupation for Motherwell from 1967 through the 1970s, and briefly into the 1980s. Although it has been common practice to locate Motherwell alternately within the histories of midcentury American painting and Minimalism, the Opens exemplify the cerebral, content-fueled character that sets his work apart: the fragmentary rectangles offer an intense conceptual engagement with dualities of interior and exterior, and with perceptions of nature and space.
Coinciding with the centennial of Motherwell's birth, the exhibition comes amid a groundswell of appreciation of his significance. In 2012, the Dedalus Foundation (founded by Motherwell in 1981) and Yale University Press published a major catalogue raisonné of Motherwell's work. The Art Gallery of Ontario and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York have also produced remarkable studies on Motherwell in recent years, and the Opens themselves are the subject of a dedicated collection of essays and scholarly criticism published in 2010. In February of this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York opened an exhibition of Motherwell's monumental paintings, collages, prints, and illustrated books drawn from its holdings and those of the Dedalus Foundation.
*Mary Ann Caws
** Jack Flamm
Robert Motherwell, a central figure in twentieth-century painting who coined the name "The New York School," was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on January 24, 1915. He graduated from Stanford University in 1937 and undertook graduate coursework first at Harvard University, then at Columbia University, where Meyer Schapiro encouraged him to devote himself to painting rather than scholarship. Motherwell had his first solo exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in 1944; by the mid-1940s he had become the leading spokesperson for avant-garde art in America. Throughout his life, Motherwell taught and lectured extensively, and exhibited widely at museums in the United States and Europe. In 1965, The Museum of Modern Art, New York held a major retrospective of his work that subsequently traveled to Amsterdam, London, Brussels, Essen, and Turin. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he had important retrospective exhibitions in a number of European cities, including Düsseldorf, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, Edinburgh, and London. In 1977, Motherwell was given a major mural commission for the new wing of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. A retrospective of one hundred major works was organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, in 1983 and subsequently traveled to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Seattle Art Museum; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Robert Motherwell died in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on July 16, 1991.
Works from Robert Motherwell's Open series are in the collections of major international institutions including Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
May 1 - June 20th, 2015
Opening Tonight, Thursday, April 30th, 6pm - 8pm
544 West 24th Street
Andrea Rosen Gallery is thrilled to announce an exhibition of Stan VanDerBeek (d. 1984), whose visionary approach to art making was not only radical in his time, but is also increasingly reflective of a contemporary discourse around the integration of media, technology, and everyday life.
Featuring five of eight computer-animated films that comprise the artist's seminal Poemfield series (1966-1971), as well as a small selection of related computer graphic prints on paper, this presentation illuminates a significant pillar of the gallery's ongoing mission to re-engage historical work within contemporary contexts.
VanDerBeek first worked on Poemfield at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey and then as an artist-in-residence at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Originally conceived as a multi-screen installation, Poemfield was eventually included in VanDerBeek's ambitious, moving image and sound environments such as Movie-Drome and Cine Dreams. In each individual film, powerful sequences of words gradually emerge from, and back into, kinetic mosaics of glittering geometric graphics. The images seen within each projection are the visual manifestations of unique poems written in a specific computer language, then processed by an IBM 7094, and ultimately output onto the surface of a cathode ray tube and filmed.
As a pioneer collaboration between artists and scientists, Poemfield was realized by VanDerBeek with the Bell Labs computer programmer and physicist Ken Knowlton. One of several programs developed by Knowlton, BEFLIX (short for Bell Labs Flicks), was used to make Poemfield and is considered by AT&T as one of the first computer animation languages. VanDerBeek also collaborated with musicians John Cage and Paul Motian on some of the varied soundtracks that accompany the films, as well as with filmmakers Robert Brown and Frank Olvey to create profound interplays of intense color. As equal combination of text, image, motion, sound, and color, each Poemfield is, in itself, a multilayered, image experience of the kind for which VanDerBeek is best known.
VanDerBeek's belief in the computer as an extension of the mind kept him pursuing technology as a revolutionary means of expressing and engaging human consciousness and, for that reason, a necessary tool for an artist to master. Representative of his continued experimentation with computer language, one black and one uncolored, embossed print of a computer graphic used in Poemfield minimally preface one's entrance into the main gallery where Poemfield No.1, No. 2, No.3, No.5, and No.7 vibrantly and loudly pulsate across surrounding walls. Two differently colored versions of Poemfield No. 1, as well as Poemfield No. 2, have been restored in high definition, the latter of which will be shown here in the gallery for the first time.
This exhibition was organized with the Estate of Stan VanDerBeek.
Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984) studied art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, and at Black Mountain College, Asheville, NC (1949-1951). During his lifetime, his work was featured in numerous exhibitions and film festivals internationally. Past exhibitions include New Media-New Forms, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York (1960); Found Forms, Cross Talk Intermedia, Japan (1969); Multiple Interaction Team, MIT, Cambridge, MA (1972); Machine Art: An Exhibit of "InterGraphic" by Professor Stanley VanDerBeek, University of Maryland, Baltimore (1976); Steam Screens, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1981); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1983); and New American Video Art: A Historical Survey, 1967-1980, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1984).
Recent exhibitions that have featured VanDerBeek's work include Stan VanDerBeek: The Culture Intercom, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2011); The Historical Box, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (2011-12)/London (2012); Ghosts in The Machine, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2012); Xerography, Firstsite, Essex, UK (2013); The Venice Biennale (2013); Go! You Sure? Yeah, LUMA Foundation, Zurich (2013-14); Cine Dreams: Stan VanDerBeek, Jeronimo Voss, Katie Paterson, Nicola Trussardi Foundation, Milan (2014); New Forms Festival, Vancouver (2014) and Poemfield, The Box, Los Angeles (2014). Upcoming exhibitions include Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2015-16).
For more information, please contact Laila Pedro (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Justin Conner
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