Friday, May 31, 2013

Teachout , MoMA and the History of Abstract Art

I usually enjoy reading what Terry Teachout (biographer, playwright, librettist and theater critic for The Wall Street Journal) has to say about subjects I'm familiar with (art) and those more distant from my cultural radar (music, theater, dance). He strikes me as being a sensible man, something I suspect can be hard to find at times in the cultural world.

Not long ago on his blog "About Last Night" he posted "Getting out more" (scroll down to April 9, 2013) in which he mentions his visit to New York's Museum of Modern Art which was holding an exhibit dealing with early abstract painting. Here is one of his observations:

* * * * *
MoMA has always been provincial about pre-1945 American modernism, and "Inventing Abstraction" (surprise, surprise!) is no exception to the rule. I was astonished to see that Arthur Dove, who can lay a serious claim to having invented abstraction, was fobbed off with two paintings tucked away in a corner--though I do give the curator full credit for devoting an appropriate amount of space to Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Morgan Russell, and Morton Schamberg. That corner installation was one of the best parts of the show.
* * * * *

I quite agree. About a year ago I wrote about Macdonald-Wright in this blog and I also dealt with him in my e-book "Art Adrift" (see sidebar to the right).

No comments: