|"The Irascibles," 1950. Photo by Nina Leen. |
Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
"Advanced and Irascible", which closes on April 30, showcases the efforts of collectors Jeanne and Carroll Berry to gather one work by each of the so-called “Irascible” painters of abstract expressionism. The Irascibles earned their nickname after sending a signed, open letter to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to protest the lack of what they called “advanced” art in its exhibition of contemporary artists in 1950. Artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Hedda Sterne and Ad Reinhardt are represented. In their letter, the artists wrote, “for roughly a hundred years, only advanced art has made any consequential contribution to civilization.”
Characterized by large, gestural paintings, the Irascibles defined the abstract expressionist movement and influenced the trajectory of modern art. A photograph of them, published by Life Magazine in 1951, became the defining image of the abstract expressionists for the remainder of the 20th century.
|Almost ready: waiting for the accompanying wall labels to be mounted.|
An untitled metal sculpture by Robert Goodnough was a gift to the museum in 2016 and will be on view for the first time in the exhibition. An eight-foot-high mixed-media work by Fritz Bultman that uses gouache and collage is a highlight, as is an untitled tall wood sculpture by Nevelson.
Although diverse in medium and technique, the artists of the New York School were key in establishing the United States as a place that welcomed avant-garde art. While visibly influenced by art movements that originated in Europe, such as surrealism and abstraction, the New York School artists innovated in terms of content and material.
Events related to the exhibitions include:
• Irascibles Film Series: “Painters Painting”
Thursday, January 26, 7 p.m.
• Irascibles Film Series: “Pollock”
Thursday, February 2, 7 p.m.
• Artful Conversation: in-depth gallery discussion with Callan Steinmann, associate curator of education
Wednesday, February 8, 2 p.m.
• Irascibles Film Series: “Robert Motherwell and the New York School: Storming the Citadel”
Thursday, February 9, 7 p.m.
• 90 Carlton: Winter, the museum’s quarterly reception ($5, free for members of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art)
Friday, February 10, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
• Family Day: Abstract Valentines
Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Tour at Two: public tour with Sarah Kate Gillespie, curator of American art
Wednesday, February 22, 2 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.