Thursday, May 3, 2012

Abstract for All

Group exhibitions are a challenge to evaluate and "Today's Visual Language: Southern Abstraction, A Fresh Look" at the Mobile Museum of Art is no exception. Thirty-seven artists are represented with two works each displayed in one large room. The space has been divided efficiently by temporary walls and the visitor can concentrate on looking at two artists at a time (four works).
 My visit started in front of two colorful paintings from Herb Jackson followed by two dark compositions from Donna Mintz and ended looking at two paintings from Larry Walker. As described in the Spring issue of Fine Lines, the quaterly magazine published by the museum, the goal of the exhibition is to give an overview of abstract artists in the Southeast since 1990 and due to the large number of artists represented, I will not be able to comment on each of them.
 It includes artists born in the South like Valerie Jaudon living in NYC, or Alejandro Aguilera born in Cuba living in Atlanta, Rick Horton  deceased in 1990 or Baker Overstreet born in 1981. I recognize artists like Anastasia Pelias, James Little or Shawne Major, others I am discovering. Abstract, their common language is a loose connection. Abstract is minimalist or expressionnist and all the gamut in between, it is purely aesthetic or cerebral or both. Lines, colors, geometric or blurred shapes challenge the viewer. The eye gets educated and a style emerges for each artist. The exhibition is a celebration of abstract art, born about a century ago (for Western art), however its title is misleading. It implies that Southern Abstract is an entity but is unable to show a common style between the artists (because there is none) and the selection of artists appears random.

The museum offers also an exhibition of lithographs from Chagall, Dali, Goya, Matisse, Calder...
"Masters of Graphic Art from the Collection of Gerald Swetsky"

no photographs were allowed

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