Thursday, September 24, 2009

Abstract Art Meets Football Stadium Success

Anne Truitt, "Apricots"

In 1975, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) included a number of Anne Truitt's Arundel paintings in an exhibition. "The works were white, starkly white, with a little white paint on top, and some marks in graphite." The first exhibition of abstract expressionism at the BMA, it was vilified by the art critic at the Baltimore Sun. Week after week The Sun expressed its denunciation of her work, even suggesting that all public funds be withheld from the BMA in punishment for its insult to public sense.

The event, including Truitt's diary account of it, is considered by Tyler Green editor of Modern Art Notes in this post. Green reports that the exhibition, today, of abstract artworks in museums, and even football stadiums, has become common and is well received. Perhaps the forcefulness of an art form's rejection may be the measure of its potential for future acceptance.

October 8, the Hirshorn Museum is mounting the first exhibition of Truitt's work since 1974. Ironically it was curated by Kristen Hileman. Hileman is the newly appointed Curator for Contemporary Art at...the BMA.

Link: Anne Truitt's legendary journal, Daybook


paul bowman said...

The forcefulness of an art form's rejection may be the measure of its potential for future acceptance.

That rings true — certainly in the modern world, anyway.

It suggests, paradoxically, that voices of rejection should be welcomed. And that those people who strongly disapprove of a trend or a school of thought and can articulate their resistance to it should step up, shouldn't keep their mouths shut. They need to play their role, since the conflict generated itself reflects the vitality & significance, if there's any there, of the development in art or culture that they're opposing. The art that matters, the art with regenerative potential, apparently, will thrive in an atmosphere of opposition.

bca said...

Paul, wonderfully said. Thanks for the discourse.

Ben Gage said...

I appreciate the story, Anne's work keeps getting better the more we see...