Lincoln Journal Star | Sheldon's 'Point of Departure' surveys 6 decades of abstract painting
September 7, 2021 - L. Kent Wolgamott for Lincoln Journal Star
"Point of Departure,” the fall’s major exhibition at Sheldon Museum of Art, takes its name from a 1964 album by jazz pianist Andrew Hill, a recording that reaches back toward Bach, but nearly 60 years after it was recorded, continues to point to the future.
In similar fashion, the paintings that fill Sheldon’s north galleries reach back to a point just after abstraction’s mid-20th century peak and take non-objective painting forward for six decades, pointing toward what is yet to come.
Impressively, the visually striking, intellectually and historically rich exhibition is primarily drawn from Sheldon’s collection of 20th and 21st century art that is unmatched by any other university museum in the country.
“We have so much abstraction and we’re well known for abstraction, starting in 1910,” said Wally Mason, Sheldon’s director and chief curator. “We shifted from abstract painting to abstract sculpture during George's (Neubert) tenure. But we always acquired some. In my time, this is something we’re continuing to do.”
In using 1958 as its starting date, Mason, who curated the exhibition, ensured that “Point of Departure” would include little work from the “first generation” of abstract expressionists, excluding oft-seen Sheldon gems by Mark Rothko, Willem deKooning, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Robert Motherwell. Read More
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