Big & Bold from the Kresge Art Museum Collection

EAST LANSING, MI – Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University presents the summer exhibition EyePoppers: Big & Bold from the Kresge Art Museum Collection, featuring 31 large scale paintings and sculpture from the museum collection. The exhibition is on through July 30, 2010.

This exhibition celebrates art of the past half-century: Pure abstraction, Op and Geometric art, and Color Field paintings. Acquired through gifts and acquisitions over the fifty-year history of the Kresge Art Museum , they follow the major stylistic trends during this time. Op art by Bridget Riley and others play with the viewer’s perception of space and line while colorful sculpture by Alexander Calder and John Scott are physically kinetic and rhythmic as well. Primary colors and humor are used by many of these artists such as Karl Appel. Paintings by William Wood and Oliver Marsden have surfaces that seem to have formed themselves raising questions as to how they were made. Large, bold, big and bright are the operative words to describe this look at artistic production since the late 1950s.

The show also celebrates the legacy of Charles Pollock, brother of Jackson Pollock, who taught in the Art Department at Michigan State University during this time. He was influential in bringing art critic Clement Greenberg to campus and, in turn, Greenberg and his friends donated major Color Field paintings to the museum collection. Large paintings by Kenneth Noland and Theodoros Stamos, are on display.

Exhibition curator April Kingsley notes, “By the 1970s women and artists of color were beginning to make their mark in the art world, which had previously been dominated by male artists.” These new groups were interested in non-Western cultures and site-specific sculpture. Formerly marginalized practices, such as decorative art and handiwork in the domestic tradition, emerge in the Pattern and Decoration style of Cynthia Carlson and Alan Shields; while Op art and Kinetic art celebrate the effects of perceived motion and abstraction.

Image: Michael Challenger (British, born 1939) Untitled, 1971 Airbrushed acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches, Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, Gift of Marshall Schuster, 78.20.2