Chapel Hill

Kenneth Noland, That, 1958–59, oil on canvas, 62 x 56 x 19". © Kenneth Noland/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Kenneth Noland, That, 1958–59, oil on canvas, 62 x 56 x 19". © Kenneth Noland/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Chapel Hill

“Circa 1958: Breaking Ground in American Art”

Ackland Art Museum
101 S. Columbia Street The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
September 21, 2008–January 4, 2009

Curated by Roni Feinstein

While not a climactic year like 1912 or 1968, 1958 displays rich sectors of overlapping modes when skewered by a fine critical eye. Curator Roni Feinstein notes the waning gestural traditions of Abstract Expressionism being replaced by Color Field and post-painterly strategies of assemblage. This progression is contrasted with a “cool” hard-edge and abstract literality eliding into incipient Minimalism (and, more subtly, into a nascent Pop sensibility). The usual suspects may dominate the sixty-two works by fifty-seven artists borrowed from more than fifty collections, but Feinstein takes serious note of Lee Bontecou, Louise Nevelson, and Yoko Ono, not to mention male artists, such as Richard Anuskiewicz, Ronald Bladen, Allan Kaprow, Nicholas Krushenick, and Leo Polk Smith, whose careers are in the midst of revisionist assessment.