The Anderson Collection at Stanford opened my eyes to the collection that I need to discover more deeply. Yes, lots of Abstract Expressionism (I will NOT call it AbEx!) and the single most interesting artist to come out of New York. She is also likely the most New York artist who ever lived.
You see, New York is built of a past covered up, painted over. It is a city where the garbage of the world has gathered, shrouded itself, re-invented itself from negative impression to something magical, impressive, artistic. Nevelson's works, found objects painted uniform shades of black or gray (or other colors, though those two are the most frquent) show the fact that these things are the markers of the world in which she was living, and then they are coated, hidden, but recogniseable.
I've loved Nevelson's work since I was too young to get anything about art other than it made me look, kept me looking. Now, it makes me feel as if there is something being hidden. I used to play a game, where I would try to identify the pieces, which was fun, but now, I look at it and see. I see forms comprising forms, and with the uniformity of the coloring, it is form which is significant. Taken as a whole, her works in wood represent a sky live, a massive, teetering city in the distance. I would love to see a large-scale exhibition of her found object works in one room, so I could stand back, and observe the metropolis she defines.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.