Art enthusiasts and the ‘culturally curious’ will undoubtedly enjoy the recent American Icons: Masterpieces from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Fisher Collection exhibition hosted at the Grand Palais in Paris until June 22 and then at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence until October 2015.
Made in collaboration with the SFMOMA, which is currently closed for construction and will reopen its doors in spring 2016, ‘American Icons’ showcases forty-nine works produced by fourteen acclaimed American artists during the second half of the twentieth century. A distinctive feature of the SFMOMA is that it houses one of the largest private collections of contemporary art, 1100 works by 185 artists, belonging to the Fisher family, the founders of the Gap apparel company.
Doris and Donald Fisher first began their collection in the 1970s when their company was listed on stock market, and they could afford to invest in art to decorate their headquarters. They soon enough became passionate art lovers, refined their taste and continued purchasing works well into the 1990s. Unlike other collectors, Donald and Doris Fisher chose to make series right from the start by following the careers of artists they were fond of and rarely resold their works. Therefore, the combination of the SFMOMA’s permanent collection and the Fisher Family’s private one, provides a coherent overview of American art of that period.
New York became a major art scene in the 1940’s with Abstract expressionism and Jackson Pollock’s ‘drip painting’. ‘American Icons’ showcases works made during the 1950’s and 1960’s: Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art and Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt’s Minimalism. The exhibition also features abstract works from Richard Diebenkorn, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, and Cy Twombly, as well as Chuck Close and Philip Guston’s whose works blend Pop, Minimal and Abstract art.
Interestingly, ‘American Icons’ also showcases several delicate ‘towers’ by ‘modern’ avant-garde artist Alexander Calder, who invented ‘mobiles’ or kinetic sculptures as early as the 1930’s.
(All images Courtesy of RMN Grand Palais, Paris)