Going Global: Abstract Art at Mid-Century

Like the US dollar, air travel, and space satellites, abstract art encircled the globe or at least the capitalist West during the middle of the 20th century.

This exhibition shows just how far abstraction reached and some of the forms it took during the Cold War, when glossy color magazines and proliferating fairs brought a globalized art world into being. Going Global has artists born in Argentina, Colombia, Germany, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Nearly all the works come from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Kenzo Okada epitomizes the exhibition’s premise. After schooling and beginning a career in Japan, Okada moved to New York in the 1940s. He befriended the dealer Betty Parsons who champion of the Abstract Expressionists and who eventually represented him. His painting Insistence blends the scale and emotive qualities of Marc Rothko, a friend, but also references ink painting and, perhaps, the shapes of Kanji or Katakana characters, two Japanese writing systems. Other artists in the exhibition include Yaacov Agam, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Eduardo MacEntyre, Ernst Nay, Jesús Rafael Soto, Pierre Soulages, Fernando de Szyszlo Valdelomar, Bridget Riley, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and Kansuke Yamamoto.

Exhibition Tours

Enjoy a docent-led tour of Going Global: Abstract Art at Mid-Century. Tours are offered on the following dates and times and are free with the price of admission.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 1 pm

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 1 pm

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 1 pm (through September 24)

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