Accessible abstract art on display at Amon Carter Museum




Posted on July 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 29 at 10:26 AM

FORT WORTH — Can abstract art be accessible to the untrained eye? A new exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth could change your mind.

Curator Rebecca Lawson explained that the installation of works from 65 artists have a common theme. "Shapes, forms and color on a two-dimensional surface, or you are going to expand that surface and make it more dimensional as you move into sculpture," she said. "But you are basically working with the same toolbox."

For instance, "Egg Beater #2" by Stuart Davis is displayed next to a Torres-Garcia abstract called "Locomotive," and there's a reason.

"The colors are Montevideo, what you see in any industrial city," Lawson said, referring to the Uruguayan capital.

A lost Gorky painting from 1936 was discovered under eight layers of latex paint on the walls of the Newark, New Jersey airport — one of only two public Gorky works to survive.

A Mondrian-esque piece in the Amon Carter exhibit is by Charmion von Wiegand, an art critic, who became an artist. When it was painted in the 1950s, Lawson said she was respected "more as a critic and less as an artist."

This new exhibit encompassing North and South American art from the 1920s to the 1950s is both challenging, and — I think — exciting. Abstract painting is much more accessible than you think, and like all great art exhibits, every piece, every painting, has a story.

Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s–50s, is on display at the Amon Carter Museum through September 5.