No. 225: Helen Molesworth, Jennifer Raab

Episode No. 225 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features curator Helen Molesworth and art historian Jennifer Raab.

Molesworth’s “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957” is on view at the Hammer Museum through May 15. It is the first exhibition to examine Black Mountain College, an experimental, inter-disciplinary and immensely influential liberal arts college in the mountains of western North Carolina. The school attracted faculty and students from all over the world at a time when World War II was forcing significant global emigration, and thus provided a place where questions of globalism and the role of the artist in society were considered and furthered. Among the artists who spent time at Black Mountain and who are included in Molesworth’s exhibition are Ruth Asawa, Willem de Kooning, Josef and Anni Albers, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Ray Johnson, Jess and plenty more. Ninety artists are included in Molesworth’s show. The show’s outstanding, must-own catalogue was published by Yale University Press.

Molesworth is the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Her previous exhibitions include “This Will Have Been,” which examined the impact of feminism on the art of the 1980s, and “Work Ethic,” which looked at how mostly 1960s artists merged everyday life with art-making.

On the second segment, art historian Jennifer Raab discusses her new book, “Frederic Church: The Art and Science of Detail.” The book examines how and why Church used unusually detailed passages in enormous paintings to engage contemporary debates about Union, nation and science. Raab teaches at Yale University.

Air date: Feb. 24, 2016.

Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S. 272), ca. 1955.

Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S. 272), ca. 1955.

Josef Albers, Leaf Study IX, ca. 1940.

Josef Albers, Leaf Study IX, ca. 1940.

Willem de Kooning, Asheville, 1948.

Willem de Kooning, Asheville, 1948.

Frederic Edwin Church, Niagara, 1857.

Frederic Edwin Church, Niagara, 1857.

Frederic Edwin Church, Heart of the Andes, 1859.

Frederic Edwin Church, Heart of the Andes, 1859.

Frederic Edwin Church, Niagara Falls from the American Side, 1867.

Frederic Edwin Church, Niagara Falls from the American Side, 1867.

Frederic Edwin Church, Vale of St. Thomas, Jamaica, 1867.

Frederic Edwin Church, Vale of St. Thomas, Jamaica, 1867.

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