Norman Lewis (1909 – 1979)
Untitled (Circular Procession of Figures), 1953
Oil on canvas
25 x 30 in.
On loan from The Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Guiffrida Collection
About the Symposium:
January 27-28, 2017 at the Anderson Collection at Stanford University
The discussion around what constitutes the boundaries of Abstract Expressionism continues to recur despite decades-long attempts by revisionists. Most provocatively, Ann Gibson’s Abstract Expressionism: Other Politics (1997) demonstrates how women, artists of color, and queer artists were systemically left out of the canon. Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline remain the familiar anchors of Abstract Expressionism. Here at Stanford, The Anderson Collection showcases important works by the above-mentioned names yet there are many artists not currently a part of our permanent collection whose involvement in the movement has been omitted from the oft-repeated narratives of the period.
We celebrate the recent focus on women, on cultural inclusivity, on gender expansive dialogues and the move to allow a spectrum of identifications. The museum takes this opportunity to look in depth at black artists working abstractly at mid-century as a case study in order to nurture the growing scholarship in this area. This symposium aims to make visible these intertwined narratives in order to explore how blackness and the Abstract Expressionist movement have been tethered all along; but more often than not, their periodic overlapping aims tend to move between invisibility and hypervisibility depending on the needs of a public.
Additionally, the museum is exhibiting three paintings by artist Norman Lewis. These works, on loan from the The Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Guiffrida Collection, help tell a fuller story of artists working during the post-war period, notably by those often left out of modern and contemporary American art history.
On view through March 27, 2017.
Andrianna Campbell, Doctoral Candidate, CUNY Graduate Center
Jeff Chang, Executive Director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford University
Deena Chalabi, Associate Curator of Public Programs, SFMOMA
Pamela Joyner, Collector
Norman Kleeblatt, Chief Curator, The Jewish Museum
Marci Kwon, Assistant Professor, Stanford University
Jason Linetzky, Director, Anderson Collection at Stanford University
Courtney J. Martin, Assistant Professor, Brown University
Richard Meyer, Professor, Stanford University
Alexander Nemerov, Department Chair of Art and Art History, Professor, Stanford University
Aimee Shapiro, Director of Programming and Engagement, Anderson Collection at Stanford University
Robert Slifkin, Associate Professor, NYU
Stanley Whitney, Artist
This program is made possible by a generous gift from the Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson Fund.