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Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Oct 6, 2012 — Jan 14, 2013

Paul Schimmel’s last exhibition as MOCA’s Chief Curator explores one of the most significant consequences of the rise of abstraction in 20th-century painting: artists’ assault on the picture plane. Responding to the social and political climate of the postwar period—especially the crisis of humanity resulting from the atomic bomb—artists ripped, cut, burned, or affixed objects to the traditionally two-dimensional canvas.

The exhibition marks the first time that these strategies have been considered together as a coherent mode of artistic production.  Featuring more than 85 works by 26 international artists, the exhibition focuses in particular on many of the earliest experiments of artists who moved the two-dimensional medium of painting towards the three-dimensionality of sculpture.



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