Nothing and Everything: Seven Artists, 1947 – 1962
‘Nothing and Everything: Seven Artists, 1947–1962’ examines a fascinating period in the history of American art: the synergistic relationship that existed between visual artists and composers living in New York City between the end of World War II and the early 1960s. Louise Bourgeois, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell and David Smith were part of a larger coterie of creative individuals who shared an ethos and naturally sought each other out, visiting one another’s studios, exhibiting together, socializing together and supporting each other’s ideas despite negative press and public indifference.
In his vivid essay, Douglas Dreishpoon, chief curator emeritus of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and curator of the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in New York from February to April 2017, explores the cultural context and synesthetic affinities that linked these seven artists. By considering paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings by Bourgeois, Guston, Kline, Mitchell and Smith alongside musical scores by Cage and Feldman, as well as Cage’s seminal ‘Lecture on Nothing’, Dr. Dreishpoon illuminates the ways in which these individuals dramatically pushed the boundaries of their respective mediums to new realms of abstraction.