Crossroads 1945-Now Exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Art - Pittsburgh Article

Crossroads 1945-Now Exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Art


The Crossroads exhibit currently on display at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art celebrates over 130 artworks created between 1945 and today. These unique works of art are separated into 8 categories each with their own separate point of entry in the museum. Each distinct grouping of artworks celebrates its own theme and personality and each stands on its own. However, they all come together to focus on artistic decision making as an urgent and vital form of thinking in the world.

The title of the exhibit is borrowed from a 1976 avant-garde film by Bruce Conner “Crossroads.” The film is also being shown as part of the exhibit in Gallery 12. The film is a hypnotic and troubling collage compiled from declassified footage of the US Military’s 1946 bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. This slow motion film provides a compelling look at understanding how artists grapple with the present without losing sight of the past. It is also a summary of the major cataclysmic events that have shaped human life since World War II.

Crossroads Exhibit Is Organized Into Eight Distinct Chapters

The eight categories of exhibits are organized to highlight the depth, diversity and eccentricities of the Carnegie Museum of Art’s holdings. Eric Crosby, The Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art, has organized the paintings as a series of chapters ranging from abstract and dreamlike to experimental and politically charged. Many of the art works are rare and never before shown that have been brought out of storage specifically for this exhibit.

The eight chapters/categories of art are grouped together as follows:

A New Horizon—A shifting global order following World War II and new artistic freedoms prompted artists of the 1950s to respond with innovative forms of abstraction in painting and sculpture.

Call of the Wild—In the late 1940s, a loose-knit band of Northern European painters and poets called CoBrA (shorthand for Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam) experimented with art that was mischievous, playful, and irreverent. The gallery reintroduces CMOA’s extensive, rarely exhibited CoBrA collection.

More Than Minimal—Though Minimalist works of the 1960s and 1970s may seem cold and impersonal, behind each is a story of touch, perception, and lived experience, lending a human dimension to otherwise simplified forms.

Night Poetry—Borrowing its title from a 1962 painting by the Pittsburgh-born artist Raymond Saunders, this dreamlike gallery summons rarely seen works from the darker recesses of the collection.

Artists’ Cinema—Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the museum served as a hub for a vibrant local film community. This gallery features a rotating program of important and under-recognized works from the museum’s collection.

Less Than Half the Picture—The turmoil of the 1980s prompted widespread debate about the value and role of art in society. A new generation of artists embraced politically charged ways of working in response to the most vital issues of the day.

The Persistence of Painting—From the rise of the Internet to the ubiquity of digital cameras, today’s complex visual environment has pushed a centuries-old medium in unpredictable directions.

Free Radicals—How do artists locate themselves in our complex world? How do they redress historical omissions? How do they embody forms of resistance and protest? And how do they challenge tradition and the status quo?

Art Offers New Ways of Seeing and Thinking

This is a must see exhibit and a very impressive collection of notable artists canvassing a wide range of topics and eras. Painting has always been an important constant in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s history and collection and this is a captivating organization of artwork that is both newly acquired and drawn from the museum’s extensive collection.

The grouping by chapter allows the differences in the art to shine and it certainly keeps your senses awake! Your previous assumptions will be challenged as these pieces certainly push boundaries and move you to new discoveries throughout the exhibit. This is a great way to spend an afternoon and appreciate great art while expanding your horizons!

For More Information about the Crossroads Exhibit Click Here

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