Nicolas de Stael
Postwar Works from the Permanent Collection
Postwar Works from the Permanent Collection. The show highlights Moca's rich collection of European and American art from the 1940s, '50s, and early '60s. Building upon iconic works by Robert Frank, Alberto Giacometti, Alfred Jensen, Helen Levitt, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jackson Pollock, among others, the exhibition draws an arc from the expressive, self-oriented, and often traumatic gestures of the immediate postwar period to the socially inscribed work of the early 1960s. The earlier moment depicts an essential antagonism between the individual and the world, marked by degrees of abstraction and existentialism, while the later moment shows the individual rationalized in the aura of mass culture, from the factory floor to the grid of a daybook. Works by Nicolas de Stael, Jean Fautrier, Sam Francis, Franz Kline, Lee Mullican, Claes Oldenburg, Ad Reinhardt, and Antoni Tapies contribute to this examination of a fundamental shift in postwar art and culture. This exhibition is curated by MOCA Associate Curator Bennett Simpson.