24 September 2016 — 2 January 2017
Exploring an unparalleled period in American art, this long-awaited exhibition reveals the full breadth of a movement that will forever be associated with the boundless creative energy of 1950s New York.
In the “age of anxiety” surrounding the Second World War and the years of free jazz and Beat poetry, artists like Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning broke from accepted conventions to unleash a new confidence in painting.
Often monumental in scale, their works are at times intense, spontaneous and deeply expressive. At others they are more contemplative, presenting large fields of colour that border on the sublime. These radical creations redefined the nature of painting, and were intended not simply to be admired from a distance but as two-way encounters between artist and viewer.
It was a watershed moment in the evolution of 20th-century art, yet, remarkably, there has been no major survey of the movement since 1959.
This autumn we bring together some of the most celebrated art of the past century, offering the chance to experience the powerful collective impact of Pollock, Rothko, Still, de Kooning, Newman, Kline, Smith, Guston and Gorky as their works dominate our galleries with their scale and vitality.
We also acknowledge the lesser-known figures who contributed to the development of the movement. Finally, we include photography and sculpture to complete an ambitious re-evaluation of the phenomenon that saw New York take over from Paris as the capital of the art world.
For more details go to https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/abstract-expressionism
Clyfford Still, PH-950, 1950.
Using the work of Monet as a starting point, this landmark exhibition examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.
Major artist and cultural phenomenon Ai Weiwei takes over the main galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts in London with brave, provocative and visionary works.
19 September — 13 December 2015
Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London
4 July — 27 September
From a basement in New York, Joseph Cornell channelled his limitless imagination into some of the most original art of the 20th century. Step into his beguiling world at this landmark exhibition.
Cornell hardly ventured beyond New York State, yet the notion of travel was central to his art. His imaginary voyages began as he searched Manhattan’s antique bookshops and dime stores, collecting a vast archive of paper ephemera and small objects to make his signature glass-fronted ‘shadow boxes’.
These miniature masterpieces transform everyday objects into spellbinding treasures. Together they reveal his fascination with subjects from astronomy and cinema to literature and ornithology and especially his love of European culture, from the Romantic ballet to Renaissance Italy.
Wanderlust brings together 80 of Cornell’s most remarkable boxes, assemblages, collages and films, some never before seen outside the USA. Entirely self-taught, the independence of Cornell’s creative voice won the admiration of artists from Marcel Duchamp and the Surrealists, to Robert Motherwell and the Abstract Expressionists, with echoes of his work felt in Pop and Minimalist art.
Wanderlust is a long overdue celebration of an incomparable artist, a man the New York Times called “a poet of light; an architect of memory-fractured rooms and a connoisseur of stars, celestial and otherwise.”