Long Beach

Michael Goldberg, Bowery Days 30, 1993, oil, pastel, and collage on linen, 38 x 37".

Michael Goldberg, Bowery Days 30, 1993, oil, pastel, and collage on linen, 38 x 37".

Long Beach

Michael Goldberg

University Art Museum (UAM) at California State University
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
September 9–December 12, 2011

Curated by Elizabeth Anne Hanson and Angela Barker

Coming of artistic age in the 1950s, after Abstract Expressionism had already fought its toughest battles, Michael Goldberg charged into gestural abstraction with the ardor of a new recruit in a winning war. Yet Goldberg’s campy sense of humor, quickened by his friendship with Frank O’Hara, imparted to his canvases a wry wit uncommon among the Abstract Expressionists. Note his Madame Recamier, which Goldberg commenced in 1956 by copying Jacques-Louis David’s elegant portrait only to obliterate the copy with turbulent marks; or his Greasy Spoon of 1960, whose title lends a down-market flavor to the canvas’s viscous drips. These will be among the more than thirty paintings and collages in this retrospective survey, whose catalogue will include scholarly essays by David Anfam and Elizabeth Anne Hanson, as well as a touching memoir by Bill Berkson.