January 24 – April 13, 2003
The late 1950s and early 1960s was a period of great transition in American art. Among American painters, especially those based in New York City, this time was one of intense experimentation and increased activity that resulted in a profusion of new modes of representation. Thanks to the foresight of Mari and James A. Michener and other donors, the Blanton’s collection of 20th-century American paintings represents the period 1958–1963 in extraordinary depth and breadth. Painting Explosion features more than 40 works from the Blanton’s collection that survey the wide spectrum of artistic styles and concerns prevalent during this historic era. The exhibition includes major works by Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Larry Rivers, Ellsworth Kelly, Helen Frankenthaler, and Adolph Gottlieb—signature paintings with which the Blanton’s collection is often identified—as well as lesser known but important works by Robert Motherwell, Al Held, Robert Indiana, Yayoi Kusama, Ludwig Sander, Leon Golub, Norman Lewis and others.