Marking the Museum’s largest and most comprehensive presentation of Abstract Expressionist art, this wide-ranging survey brings together some 250 works across a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and film. Abstract Expressionism ranks among the movements most closely associated with The Museum of Modern Art.
From the moment of its founding, the Museum honored, as part of its mandate, a commitment to art by Americans as well as by Europeans. Under the leadership of founding director Alfred H. Barr, Jr., its initial pursuit of works by Abstract Expressionist artists took place within the context of a wide-ranging program of acquisitions and exhibitions of work by artists living in the United States. Built on this strong foundation, the Museum’s present-day collection of Abstract Expressionism—unrivalled in its breadth and depth—was formed over the course of many decades with the sustained support of the Museum’s curators, trustees, and often the artists themselves.
Three distinct exhibitions are presented in three locations throughout the Museum: The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Painting and Sculpture Galleries, fourth floor; The Paul J. Sachs Drawings Galleries, third floor; and The Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries, second floor. An exhibition of films from the collection that are associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement will be featured in The Roy and Niuta Titus theaters in early 2011. The ambitious scale of this exhibition introduces various perspectives on the movement and invites a new understanding of a period which influenced the artistic developments of the subsequent half century.
[Image: Jackson Pollock “One: Number 31, 1950” (1950) Oil and enamel paint on canvas 269.5 x 530.8 cm. Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange). © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]