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Kunstmuseum Basel to reveal Jackson Pollock

1 year ago

In the fall, the year’s second grand special exhibition will bring together numerous works on loan from collections around the world to survey the figurative oeuvre of Jackson Pollock.

The Kunstmuseum Basel, which reopened on Sunday, 17 April, after a year-long renovation will bring together numerous works on loan from collections around the world to survey the figurative oeuvre of Jackson Pollock. The show is a rare major European presentation of Pollock’s work; the last two were at the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain) in London in 1999 and at Tate Liverpool last year. Loans of the American Abstract Expressionist’s work are “very difficult to negotiate”, says the museum’s deputy director Nina Zimmer, who is organising the show.

Zimmer challenges the notion that Pollock, who is famous for his drip paintings, was primarily innovative as an abstract artist. “For some scholars in the US, this is a conservative reading, [because] going back to the model of figuration is going backwards from the radical breakthrough Pollock made,” she says. She feels the idea would have been difficult to pull off at a US museum.

The Figurative Pollock (2 October-22 January 2017) brings together around 100 works—including 50 paintings on loan from institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York—to show “the dialogue between figuration and abstraction”. Zimmer’s “long-term dream” was made possible by extra funding for the exhibition from Credit Suisse and the Foundation for the Kunstmuseum Basel.

Carla Ingrasciotta

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