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Liberated from its stretcher, Carousel State (1968) explores the material and chromatic possibilities of canvas, a traditional painting support. Gilliam developed his unique approach in the 1960s while working with the Washington Color School, whose compositions emphasized the flatness of the picture plane. This is an early example of the artist’s signature ‘Drape Paintings,” made through a novel process of dripping, smearing, staining, and splashing paint onto raw canvas.
Colors often spread and merged as Gilliam pressed and folded the fabric. He has described this as a kind of equilibrium: “This liquidity of the colors is reinforced by the fluidity of the canvas.” The final step in the creation of Carousel State is its installation, suspended and extending into space.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Felt works by Robert Morris, including this piece entitled Pink Felt (1970) embody his notion of Anti-Form. Instead of executing a predetermined design, Morris allowed the final outcome of a sculpture to be determined as much by his simple actions (cutting and draping the material) as by gravity and chance.
Pink Felt, Detail
A departure from earlier, unitary geometric forms of the Minimalist sculptures that the created in the 19603, Morris’s felt works, including Pink Felt, foreground the physical qualities of his materials and the artist’s physical process.
“Disengagement with preconceived enduring forms and orders for things is a positive assertion,” the artist writes in his 1968 essay, Anti Form. “It is part of the work’s refusal to continue estheticizing form by dealing with it as a prescribed end.”
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Ilona Keserü belongs to a generation of Hungarian artists that emerged in the wake of the Revolution of 1956, which had resulted in restrictions on officially acceptable art and suspicion of avant-garde art produced in Western styles — particularly abstraction. Keserü and other Hungarian artists flourished in abstract modes, despite this marginalization. A vibrant unframed tapestry, Wall-Hanging with Tombstone Forms (1969) exemplifies her desire to merge modern abstraction with references to Hungarian folk culture, making something with local resonance out of an otherwise international vocabulary of hard-edge painting. The undulating, toothlike motif recurring throughout the composition relates to artists study of gravestones at the Balatonudvari Cemetery, southwest of Budapest.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.