"Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949–1962" [through Jan. 14, 2013] is the final exhibition Paul Schimmel organized while curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where he revised art history for the past 22 years. The show features 26 international artists, many of them presented in depth, who demonstrate an extraordinary compulsion to demolish the picture plane.
In this survey, Schimmel reexplores the territory between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art, integrating movements and forms that include Assemblage, Neo-Dada, art Informel, Tachisme, Nouveau Realisme, early Happenings, Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, Gutai and more. Drawn together in the exhibition, for example, are French artist Jacques Villeglé's torn poster works (décollages), Austrian artist Otto Muehl's mangled, hog-tied reliefs and Japanese artist Chiyu Uemae's paintings with seemingly decaying and festering surfaces.
Jeffrey Deitch's involvement with graffiti and street art has spanned 30 years-from a review of the "Times Square Show" that appeared in the pages of Art in America in 1980 to the 2010 closing of his gallery, Deitch Projects, with an exhibition of work by Shepard Fairey. So it's entirely fitting that the first group exhibition he has organized as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, is "Art in the Streets," a raucous, illuminating survey of international scope that begins with commissioned pieces on the outside plaza and extends through the space of the Geffen Contemporary. Inside, further commissioned paintings and murals intermingle with re-creations of historically significant installations, paintings, a skateboard park, photographs, films and more. The exhibition was curated in collaboration with Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, both longtime promoters of graffiti art. Seeking to extend definitions of art, the exhibition sought to expand the museum's audience while raising questions about artistic training and intention, esthetic criteria and the relation of street art to the museum.
Collage and acrylic on paper, thread, string, plastic lid
48 x 30 ¼ in.