An exhibit curated by Robert S. Mattison, Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Art History, titled Why Nature? opens Thursday, Oct. 30 with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and runs until Dec. 6 at Hollis Taggart Galleries in New York.
Why Nature? focuses on the symbiotic relationship of nature and abstraction through the lens of four celebrated artists: Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Richard Pousette-Dart and Theodoros Stamos. Accompanying the exhibit is a fully-illustrated catalogue with an essay by Mattison, author of three books including his most recent, Arshille Gorky: Works, Writings (2010).
For many of the Abstract Expressionist painters, understanding of the natural world was based not simply on observation but on the sciences and sociology of the age. The era saw the development of penicillin, the electron microscope, mapping of the ocean floor, the beginnings of space exploration and the development of molecular biology. As a result, many artists of this era moved their studies to the countryside and turned to nature as a core subject.
The works in this exhibit reflect the artists’ unique response to a contemporary cultural zeitgeist that was tied to the natural world and to advances in the natural sciences.
Hollis Taggart is located at 958 Madison Ave., Manhattan and gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, go to www.HollisTaggart.com.
Lafayette is a highly selective, national liberal arts college in Easton, Pa. with 2,400 students and 215 full-time faculty, offering a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs including engineering.
Photo courtesy of Lafayette College.
Higher resolution images available upon request.
Left: Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), Sunburst, oil on panel, 30-1/8 x 35-1/8 inches
Right: Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992), Byzantine Night, 1964-65, oil on panel, 23 x 31 inches