Perhaps no other Neri I've seen has brought Giaciometti to mind so thoroughly. These two works seem to say something very different from other Neris I've encountered, and maybe that is what's made all the difference.
I love this gallery, but am not thrilled with this piece personally, though I completely get why it's one of the most important in the Anderson Collection, and absolutely adore how they've positioned it as a focal point, a defining aspect of the most important room of the museum!
What of Robert Motherwell, his great black swatches in the center of the canvas, his quick globs of depth seeming to fester, infecting with other colors present? What did he mean by this, this haunting of a painting that seems more suited to the rambling than of any sort of conversation.
I love Motherwell for his distance, his inability to allow you in. Even his series of Elegy for the Spanish Republic, a title worthy of mournful celebration, is nothing more than a collection designed to serve paint as sticking place.
This work, where the black is front, the taupe behind, the white still further away, is worthy of inclusion in his best, but it is not so easily defined. It is neither map nor tombstone nor milemarker nor invitation. it is, instead, a work that feels like a work, and not one to be taken overly lightly.
There is a set of stairs in the Anderson. It takes visitors from the first floor to the second where the vast majority of the art sleeps. As a rule, whatever you experience when you come to the top of the stairs is the focal point.
At the top, on the wall facing you, is a Clyfford Still.
Clyfford Still is going through a resurgance. He is one of the featured artists in the major Abstract Expressionist exhibit in London. While Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell, and deKooning have all become household names, Still was the one who came to abstraction first.
The piece in the Anderson is large, and to my eyes, one of the most beautiful pieces in the entire collection. The contrast between the reds, blacks, and whites allows the mind to go from edge to edge of the surface, making it impossible to travel the distance in a straight line. The borders formed contain nations, zones, territories of pure colors, but they are full of weight. It is not a light piece, not like the MItchell around the corner, but it is also not nearly the AbEx impression as is given off by the Pollock, Rothko, or Frankenthaler in the collection. The feeling is something new, different, and when I first saw it, I could not place what I was experiencing.
Adolph Gottlieb (1903 - 1974)
oil on canvas
90 x 60 1/8 in.
Gottlieb's grand unification theorem
for Abstract Expressionism
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.