Celebrating Modern Art: The Anderson Collection

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9780520227583: Celebrating Modern Art: The Anderson Collection
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The Anderson Collection is among the greatest private collections of modern and contemporary art in the United States. As the highlight of its year 2000 exhibition schedule, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will present the collection, featuring more than 330 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by nearly 140 artists of international renown. This beautiful large-format volume, published in conjunction with the exhibition, features essays by leading art critics and scholars as well as lavish color plates of 285 of the works, providing an extraordinary overview of modern and contemporary art.

Both the exhibition and book divide this outstanding collection into five sections. "The New York School" features works by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein, among others. "Art in California" includes works by Robert Arneson, Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, and Wayne Theibaud. "Contemporary Art" presents work from the 1970s and 1980s by Scott Burton, Susan Rothenberg, Terry Winters, Elizabeth Murray, and others. "Modern Sculpture" offers an impressive array of works by such artists as Alberto Giacometti, Auguste Rodin, and Alexander Calder. "Works on Paper" showcases drawings, watercolors, and gouaches by a range of artists, which mirrors the scope of the collection as a whole.

Overview essays for each of the five sections are written respectively by Jack Flam, Bill Berkson, Neal Benezra, Michael Brenson, and John Elderfield. A number of shorter texts address particular highlights of the collection.

Gary Garrels's introductory essay discusses the Anderson Collection as a whole and provides a context for its role as one of the most important private collections in the United States.

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About the Author:

Gary Garrels is Chief Curator of Drawings and Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

From Library Journal:

The vast Anderson Collection comprises works selected between the late 1960s and the late 1990s by San Franciscans Harry and Mary Margaret Anderson with assistance from their daughter. Some of their art had been previously displayed at the headquarters of their company, the Saga Corporation, in Menlo Park, but the two shows for which these catalogs were produced will expose hundreds of pieces to a wider public, in the Bay Area and beyond. Breuer, curator of the Anderson Graphic Arts Collection at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, presents a wide variety of graphic material screenprints, lithographs, aquatints, drypoints, woodcuts, etchings, monotype, and photogravures organized by decade. Breuer begins each section with a concise one-page overview of important artists and trends, encapsulating the explosive 1960s, the expansionist 1970s, the excessive 1980s, and the forward-moving 1990s. Her introductory chapter about the Andersons and the chronology section on printmaking in America from 1940 to 2000 are both informative. Editor Garrels, previously a curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has compiled a collaborative writing effort between seven people writing chapter essays and ten people writing shorter focus pieces on a particular artist and selected artwork. Presenting Modern art by 140 artists is a challenge that this catalog valiantly meets, though the focus pieces actually leave one wishing that more of the art could have been discussed in that pinpointed fashion. The chapter essays and illustrations cover the New York School, California art, contemporary art, modern sculpture, and works on paper. (This latter category differs from the graphics catalog in comprising unique works in charcoal, graphite, ink, and so forth.) A format distraction in both books is the overuse of large areas of glaring white space and the too small, light text. Another problem is that the very large, square shape of both books makes them heavy, difficult to carry around, and quite awkward to read on one's lap. One might question whether the production of such monumental tomes, more at home on a coffee table than a reference shelf, is really in keeping with the Andersons' goal of sharing their art. Nevertheless, both books are recommended for academic and larger public libraries for the importance of the images and the quality accompanying texts. Anne Marie Lane, American Heritage Ctr., Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780520227606: Celebrating Modern Art: The Anderson Collection

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ISBN 10:  0520227603 ISBN 13:  9780520227606
Publisher: University of California Press, 2000
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