Symposium to Celebrate American Abstract Expressionism
16 July, 2012
The US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney is co-convening a two day symposium with the National Gallery of Australia to celebrate the birth of American greats Jackson Pollock and Morris Louis 100 years ago.
Action Painting Now will be held on 24–25 August 2012 at the National Gallery in Canberra. It is made possible through a grant from the Terra Foundation of Chicago, a leading promoter of research into American art before 1980. This is the first time Terra has worked with an Australian institution.
The symposium will present new scholarship on Australia’s only significant collection of 1940s and 1950s American art. Leading American scholars Branden Joseph, Ellen Landau, Michael Leja and Richard Shiff will join Australian experts Rex Butler, Christine Dixon, Chris McAuliffe and Anthony White to explore the development, reach and influence of Abstract Expressionism.
Jackson Pollock is notorious in Australia for his masterpiece Blue Poles, which was purchased by the Whitlam government in 1973 for $1.3 million.
Convenor Roger Benjamin (SLAM/USSC) says Blue Poles is regarded as one of Pollock’s most important paintings, and the acquisition is now acknowledged as a masterstroke. He said Morris Louis’s work was a continuation Pollock’s achievements. ‘Louis really was the star of the next generation of American painters’. The National Gallery’s exhibition of over sixty works from its permanent collection begins 14th July 2012.