If I have one complaint about what is on view in the Stanford's Anderson Collection, it is the last of Pop Art. Yeah, there are a few pieces, but no Rauschenberg, Warhol, or Lichtenstein, though I know that some of it is on display at SFMoMA. It happens, though I know there are several of each of those folks in the collection. The piece on the floor as I visited that most was a Donald Sultan work depicting a streetlight.
Why is it Pop Art? I mean, wasn't Pop mostly a 1960s thing and this is from the 80s?
Yeah, true, but art movements don't so much as have edges as they do areas as fuzzy as the boundries of Rothko squares. Sultan chose a simple recogniseable image and gave it to us against a simple black background. There is nothing about the subject that would give us any idea as to the importance of it in the world. It's a street light, that's all. Like Warhol's soup cans or Lichtenstein's comic book images, it's not important what the subject is; it is important that it is being presented on a wall in a museum.
It is a lovely piece, and the way it is presented in the space is what made it for me. It is on the end of a short wall. When you are facing it, you're looking down what I think of as the left-side hall. It is as if it is illuminating the way, marking a point in the trip where you can stand and know you're under light, and sometimes when it comes to contemporary art, that's a blessing.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.