Friday, February 16, 2007

Revisiting the Carter Collection

Among the Bulletins published by the Georgia Museum of Art to further scholarship in the art historical field is one that particularly deserves rediscovery at the moment. The 1976-77 Bulletin covered the original exhibition of Open to New Ideas: A Collection of New Art for Jimmy Carter, some of which is once again on the walls of the museum in The Carter Collection Revisited, a 30th-anniversary return to the art of the late 1970s.

Each artist included in Open to New Ideas is briefly profiled and his or her work of art illustrated and discussed by then-acting director of the museum Richard S. Schneiderman. The Bulletin also includes a transcript of a day-long panel discussion held on January 7, 1977, at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education on public support of art that was attended and contributed to by 15 of the artists.

Artists included are: Mac Adams, William Anastasi, Laurie Anderson, Robert Barry, Bill Beckley, James Collins, Douglas Davis, Joel Fisher, Hermine Freed, Helen Mayer Harrison, Newton Harrison, Lynn Hershman, Douglas Huebler, Peter Hutchinson, Patrick Ireland, Joan Jonas, Jerry Jones, Sharon Kulik, Les Levine, Gordon Matta-Clark, Duane Michals, Larry Miller, Dennis Oppenheim, Charlemagne Palestine, Alan Daniel Saret, Paul Sharits, Bernar Venet, William Wegman and Roger Welch.

The Bulletin is an important record of issues in art, especially avant-garde or challenging art, 30 years ago. As Schneiderman writes in his introduction, “For many of these artists, art must not be simply art; they consider art serving a significant role in the intellectual life of society, and thus, they ask that we look beyond the work of art and perceive or be cognizant of the meaning that the artist presents. Perhaps the works in this collection can best be understood as objects for contemplation since the message presented by the artist is often above and beyond the physical nature of the work itself ... In fact, several of these pieces are incomplete without specific interaction between artist and viewer through the work of art. This attitude marks a return to the spirit of the art of the medieval period ... Using their art as a vehicle for communication, these artists create a new art that permits modern society to enter into the creative process.”

The 1976-77 Bulletin is available for purchase in the museum shop. It runs 166 pages and is extensively illustrated both in black and white and in color.

No comments: