Postwar Era. A Recent History
Homages to Jack Tworkov and Claire Falkenstein
23 January – 4 April, 2016
Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero
Postwar Era. A Recent History. Homages to Jack Tworkov and Claire Falkenstein offers a fresh, analytical look at postwar American and European art through 1979, the year of Peggy Guggenheim death. More than ninety paintings and sculptures, works both from Peggy Guggenheim’s collection and from donations to the Foundation’s Venice museum, some rarely exhibited, are assembled in clusters and arranged according to theme, style, affinity, and an unconventional chronology, bringing together threads of sensibility that go beyond avant-garde movements and historical tendencies. This context also offers insight into the work of two artists in the Foundation’s collections: Jack Tworkov (1900–1982) and Claire Falkenstein (1908–1997). The latter is celebrated for her entrance gates to the museum, commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, now the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in 1960, and which have undergone maintenance prior to this exhibition.
The exhibition opens with early works of American Abstract Expressionism. The following room is dedicated to the painting of Polish-born American Jack Tworkov: a rich series of works on paper and five oil paintings documenting Tworkov’s treatment of a female portrait in the stylistic and formal key of Abstract Expressionism. The narrative continues with the manifest impact of the American painting on Informal abstraction in Europe, with its prolific research into new pictorial mediums, gesture and the mark in the work of Italian artists such Afro, Capogrossi, Santomaso and Vedova. Another gallery looks specifically at the work of Carlo Ciussi. A selection of works by postwar British artists—a little known aspect of Peggy’s collection—documents the works of sculptors and painters of third quarter of the 20th century. Reminding us of Peggy’s predilection for sculpture, this is followed by a series of works by Mirko Basaldella. Finally, the homage to Claire Falkenstein: one of the enduring memories of visitors to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection are of the metal and glass gates by this versatile American sculptor.
Claire Falkenstein, Model for Garden gates, 1961. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston