Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shared Inspiration

This month saw the opening of Shared Inspiration: The David R. and Muriel Pokross CollectionShared Inspiration celebrates a generous gift from the family of Muriel Kohn Pokross, class of 1934, and David R. Pokross.  Comprised of paintings, drawings and prints by major artists of the post-World War II period, The Pokross Collection is a marvelous and exciting addition to SCMA’s collection. 

After receiving the gift this winter, my colleagues and I spent months studying, researching and enthusing about these new objects, and looking for the correspondences between them.  Several works in the collection—a drawing and a painting by William T. Wiley, drawings by David Park and Richard Diebenkorn—were by California artists.  This concentration allowed me to learn about the contemporary art that came out of California in the 1960s and 1970s: the Bay Area Figurative Movement, of which Diebenkorn and Park were founding members (our new David Park drawing is a beautiful example of the work that came out of this movement), and the California Funk Art Movement, of which William T. Wiley was a member. 

In this installation shot, you can see our Richard Diebenkorn (Untitled #25, 1981) on the far left paired with an Elizabeth Murray drawing. 

The gift also includes four works by the Pioneer Valley artist Gregory Gillespie.  Gillespie is known as a Pioneer Valley Realist, but it was a designation he rejected, and when you look at the works in the Pokross Collection, you can see why: they run the gamut from the real to the strange to the absurd.  Here are two paintings from the collection:

Gregory Joseph Gillespie. American, 1936 – 2000. Greg and Peg, 1991. Oil on wood. Gift of The Pokross Art Collection, donated in accordance with the wishes of Muriel Kohn Pokross, class of 1934 by her children, Joan Pokross Curhan, class of 1959, William R. Pokross and David R. Pokross Jr. in loving memory of their parents, Muriel Kohn Pokross, class of 1934 and David R. Pokross. SC 2012:1-8. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe.

Gregory Joseph Gillespie. American, 1936 – 2000. Trees and Figures (Surviving the Flood), 1980/81. Oil and collage on board. Gift of The Pokross Art Collection, donated in accordance with the wishes of Muriel Kohn Pokross, class of 1934 by her children, Joan Pokross Curhan, class of 1959, William R. Pokross and David R. Pokross Jr. in loving memory of their parents, Muriel Kohn Pokross, class of 1934 and David R. Pokross. SC 2012:1-9. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe.

Tune in next week to read more about the collectors, David R. and Muriel Pokross. 

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