Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Art Of Another Kind": International Abstraction, '49-'60, At Guggenheim

"Art of Another Kind," at the Guggenheim Museum, is an outstanding exhibition of international abstract art from 1949-1960, much of it collected under the museum's second director, James Johnson Sweeney. While this genre during the 1950s is most associated with the abstract expressionists of the New York School, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko, the show proves that it was a worldwide movement. We're introduced to the Art Informel, CoBrA and Art Brut schools of Europe, and to Japanese artists such as Kenzo Ohada and Takeo Yamaguchi, who assimilated the avant-garde Western style into their Eastern aesthetic sensibility. "Art of Another Kind" reminds us of the vision of former director Sweeney, whose tenure was marked by an openness to new art around the world.

Image: "The Crying Crocodile Tries to Catch the Sun," Karel Appel, 1956, oil on canvas

Art of Another Kind: International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949-1960” continues through Sept. 12 at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street, NYC; (212) 423-3500, guggenheim.org.

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