“Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962” arrives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago this weekend. It will be on view through June 2. The show is accompanied by a fascinating catalogue. Exhibition curator Paul Schimmel and I discussed “Destroy the Picture” on Episode No. 49 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast.
“Destroy the Picture” examines the way artists responded to the unprecedented killing and destruction of World War II by (often) literally attacking the picture plane. The show, which features 26 artists (but only three Americans) charts the way artists used abstraction to respond to a post-atomic world, and in so doing offers an alternate history about post-abstract expressionism abstract art. It was included on Modern Art Notes’ list of the best exhibitions of 2012.
This image is of a work by Gutai artist Saburo Murakami. It features paint literally blistering off the surface of the canvas, an acute reference to Japanese war-time experiences. (Coincidentally, a major survey of the Gutai movement opens tomorrow at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in New York.)
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Image: Saburo Murakami, Work [Peeling Picture] (detail), 1957. Collection of the Vervoordt Foundation, Belgium.