Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Presents On to Pop

Abstract Expressionist New York Celebrates the Achievements of a Generation That Catapulted New York City to the Center of the International Art World Sixty Years Ago

Drawn entirely from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, Abstract Expressionist New York traces the development of Abstract Expressionism from its auspicious beginnings in the 1940s to its seasoned maturity in the 1960s.

The exhibition will be on view at MoMA starting October 3, 2010. Marking the Museum’s largest and most comprehensive presentation of Abstract Expressionist art, this wide-ranging survey brings together some 250 works across a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and film. Masterpieces by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, David Smith, and Joan Mitchell are joined by lesser-seen but revelatory works by artists who developed independent voices within Abstract Expressionism. In addition to providing a fresh look at scores of works of art that have not been seen together in half a century, the exhibition also offers a selection of images and documentary material from The Museum of Modern Art Archives, which illustrates the linked histories of Abstract Expressionism, MoMA, and New York City during this pivotal moment in modern art. Abstract Expressionist New York will be on view throughout the Museum, spanning 25,000 square feet of gallery space, including the entire fourth-floor painting and sculpture galleries as well as galleries on the second and third floors.

Abstract Expressionist New York is organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture; Jodi Hauptman, Curator, Department of Drawings; Sarah Suzuki, The Sue and Eugene Mercy, Jr., Assistant Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books; Sarah Meister, Curator, Department of Photography; Michelle Elligott, Museum Archivist; Anne Morra, Associate Curator, and Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film; and Paulina Pobocha, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

Abstract Expressionism ranks among the movements most closely associated with The Museum of Modern Art. From the moment of its founding, the Museum honored, as part of its mandate, a commitment to art by Americans as well as by Europeans. Under the leadership of founding director Alfred H. Barr, Jr., its initial pursuit of works by Abstract Expressionist artists took place within the context of a wide-ranging program of acquisitions and exhibitions of work by artists living in the United States. Built on this strong foundation, the Museum’s present-day collection of Abstract Expressionism—unrivalled in its breadth and depth—was formed over the course of many decades with the sustained support of the Museum’s curators, trustees, and often the artists themselves.

Image: Edward Ruscha, OOF, 1962. Oil on canvas, 71 1/2 x 67″ (181.5 x 170.2 cm). Gift of Agnes Gund, the Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation, Inc., Robert and Meryl Meltzer, Jerry I. Speyer, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, Emily and Jerry Spiegel, an anonymous donor, and purchase © 2010 Edward Ruscha

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