Tuesday, March 24, 2009

“Pop to Present” at Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

by Ekaterina Levina

“Pop to Present” is a bright and exciting exhibit. I envy people who are not familiar with the permanent museum collection and would discover all these wonderful art works at the show.
I go to this museum at least once at month for a number of reasons: the collection is great, the new exhibits are original, the admission is free and the Rodin garden is always a visual pleasure. I’ve seen at least 90% of art works presented at the show before.

Even for me, there was one surprise that made my day! It was a painting of a sitting woman with one hand around her head by Richard Diebenkorn. I read the name of the artist on a title card and exclaimed to myself: “Of course, who else!” That level of abstraction of the figure, that angular pose, that “ocean” blue, that California air, that poetry!

This beautiful painting was the “Mona Lisa” of the show. I was puzzled that I couldn’t remember this image from art books or from the museum collection. This is definitely the image that museum postcard and posters are made of. Anyway, I was really happy to see this beautiful work of art.

Being a nice museum visitor and fairly judging the number of security guards around I asked a permission to take pictures. It was granted.
I looked around the exhibit taking notes of my favorites. Then I walked straight to Diebenkorn and started taking pictures. To my surprise the same security guard who answered my question about taking pictures came to me and said: “Excuse me, but this is the only painting which isn’t allowed for taking pictures. It’s the order from the curator. I’m sorry.”
Intriguing. I looked again at the title card which said that “this painting is not yet formally accessioned into the collection.” It’s a promised gift from a private collection.
It would be wonderful to see this painting in the permanent museum collection.

Once again I fell in love with Diebenkorn.

No comments: