Marjorie Strider’s work draws on the vast image cache of popular culture, especially representations of women in men’s magazines and advertisements. She recasts these depictions with the subversive edge and an ironic bite, as exemplified by Girl With Radish (1963), which at first glance, looks like an image one would find in a pin up or on a billboard. Upon sustained viewing, however, the woman’s deadpan stare becomes increasingly confrontational. She looks deliberately out at the viewer, questioning the power dynamics of the conventional male gaze. Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: Marjorie Strider, Girl With Radish
From Situating Helen Frankenthaler’s Wizard by Louise Byrne
Completed in 1963, Helen Frankenthaler’s Wizard stands apart from her then contemporary paintings, with its vertical orientation, body-sized scale, and figural allusion in both name and form. One of the last paintings Frankenthaler worked entirely in oil, Wizard should be understood as a crucial experiment in both method and medium, presaging key changes in Frankenthaler’s established approach. The artist’s works of 1962 show the last influences of didactic expressionism, where apparently unguided drips and blots of oil punctuate wide expanses of unprimed canvas, each piece emerging as an autonomous work.
Following an influential career at The Bauhaus school in Wiemer, Germany (1919 – 33) Josef Albers fled the Nazi regime and emigrated to the United States, where he taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and then at Yale in Connecticut. Beginning in 1949 and continuing over the next twenty-five years, he created his celebrated Homage to the Square series, which is composed of more than a thousand works including paintings, drawings, prints, and tapestries. These works are based on a template of geometric abstraction, a mathematically determined format of several squares overlapping or nesting within one another. These works represent Alber’s experiments with theories of color and spatial relationships, which were informed by his studies of Mexican pyramids and pre-Colombian architectonic principles. Homage to the Square: On Near Sky was painted in 1963.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This Mona Lisa (1963) is one of the earliest works for which Andy Warhol employed silk-screening, the printing process that he adopted in 1962 to quickly and easily make multiple copies of preexisting images. Here, he revels in the act of duplication. By replicating a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting Mona Lisa four times in two different ways, the artist reduces a masterwork epitomizing traditional notions of artistic genius and authorship to a pale shadow of its former self.
This Untitled Abstract Painting (circa 1963 or 64) is one of the last paintings made by Eva Hesse before she switched to sculpture. Its deconstructed symbols, figures, and shapes evoke natural forms and bodies without ever being directly identifiable. Delicate brushwork, soft colors and a light, witty touch lend this work a feminine quality that she intended as a rebuke to the masculinity of Minimalist Art. Hess was reading Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex at this time, and the text led her to question her own fragmented status as artist, woman and wife. Her work, though not overtly political, explores these issues in poetic, expressive abstractions.
Photographed in the Jewish Museum in NYC.