Memories in Pollock

Upon entering the current special exhibition Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet and looking left, I am startled by this monumental enamel and oil on canvas by Jackson Pollock. Though two-dimensional, its form emerges as a formidable human head, imposing as any ancient bust. A more contemporary relationship comes to mind–a memory flickers each time I pass it by of Per Kirkeby’s Large Head (1984), which sat just around the corner in last season’s exhibition.

Cecilia Wichmann, Publicity and Marketing Manager

Jackson Pollock, Number 7, 1952, 1952. Enamel and oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 40 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Emilio Azcarraga Gift, in honor of William S. Lieberman, 1987 © 2012 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jackson Pollock, Number 7, 1952, 1952. Enamel and oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 40 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Emilio Azcarraga Gift, in honor of William S. Lieberman, 1987 © 2012 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A Lego Challenge By the Numbers

Legos at Pa5 Photo Collage

Phillips after 5 visitors use Legos to create sculptures inspired by the work of Danish artist Per Kirkeby

135 participants of all ages

3,300 Legos of all sizes

89 total Instragrams

51 submissions

8 winners

3 hours of fun

The Phillips’s first-ever Lego challenge was a great success! The tables in the Main Gallery were packed all night with Phillips after 5 guests who built their own Per Kirkeby-inspired masterpieces. Visitors snapped photos of their creations with Instagram and tagged their pictures #PhillipsPlaysWell, in honor of Lego’s Danish roots, for a chance to win prizes. Check out winning photos below, and find the rest of the submissions @phillipscollection on Instagram.

Margaret Collerd,  Public Programs and In-gallery Interpretation Coordinator

Lego winners collage

The winning photos. Clockwise from top left: Windy Tree by Andrew M., Fallen Tree III by cerin, Untitled by ianjannetta, Untitled by mrsmerkel, New Shadows by Jessica, Sans Titre by Chris Z., and On the Floor by matthewbaileyseigel.

A Scientist’s Perspective on Kirkeby

At last night’s Phillips after 5, Michael Garstang, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Sciences provided his perspective on the Kirkeby exhibition. He began his talk by making connections between art and science saying, “Both fields draw upon creativity as the prime motive. . . both are products of infinite, incremental steps, and both must be founded upon a preconceived framework.”

Per Kirkeby, Untitled, 2006. Tempera on canvas, 78 3/4 x 98 1/2 in. Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York, London, and Berlin

Per Kirkeby, Untitled, 2006. Tempera on canvas, 78 3/4 x 98 1/2 in. Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York, London, and Berlin

Garstang talked about the infinite process of sedimentation, laying down grain by grain to form layers, strata, and structures in his discussion of this untitled work, which Kirkeby painted in 2006. He interpreted the parallel bands at the center of the canvas as possible “fossilized tree trunks,” citing Kirkeby’s writings on trees in which the artist explains, “I don’t think I have ever drawn a whole tree.” Despite the painting’s framework, Garstang noted that Kirkeby “interrupted the form with discordant shapes juxtaposed with a sphere.” He wondered “Is it detritus? Glacial till? Blue ice?” Like Kirkeby, Garstang was reluctant to interpret the end result saying, “I’ll let you sort this one yourselves.”