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Pollock-Krasner Lectures Return

Tue, 07/06/2021 - 11:45
An installation view of the "Mary Abbott: The Living Possibility of Paint" exhibition at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center
Jennifer Landes

It's summer and people are feeling chatty again. Inside, outside, in person, or via Zoom, there are numerous lectures and discussions to choose from these days.   

A beloved tradition also returns this year, the lecture series offered by the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, which is underwritten by Dorothy Lichtenstein. They won't be in person, but they are tied to the current show on view in the house, "Mary Abbott: The Living Possibility of Paint." Hopefully what is lost through the intimacy of the live lectures will be made up for by the increased capacity that Zoom can provide.

On view until July 25, the exhibition's themes -- of mid-20th-century abstraction and the work of female artists in that period through the examination of one in particular -- are taken up in this series.

Held on Sundays at 5 p.m. the weekly lectures run until the show's last day. Gwen Chanzit is up first this week with "Women of Abstract Expressionism." Ms. Chanzit has been a curator at the Denver Art Museum and professor of museum studies and art history at the University of Denver. In 2016, she was one of the earliest museum curators to shine a light on the women artists of this period. That show, which shares the title of the lecture, included Abbott's work. It was recognized as one of the most important exhibitions of the decade by both ARTnews and Hyperallergic. The catalog for the show was published by the Yale University Press and is in its fifth printing.
On July 18, Phyllis Braff, an independent curator who has written about art for The New York Times and The Star, will speak on "The Pioneering Era of Mary Abbott and Women Artists of Her Generation on Long Island." She will focus on Abbott's development as an abstract artist in the 1950s as part of a group of women artists who kept studios on the South Fork during that time. Ms. Braff wrote the catalog essay for the Abbott show on view.
The concluding lecture will be delivered by Christian Levett on July 25. He, along with his wife, Florence Levett, have amassed a significant collection of art by female abstractionists. Many of these works are installed at their residence in Florence, which the couple opens to select group visits. Two of their paintings are on view in the Abbott exhibition. His talk, "The Renaissance of Female Abstraction," will offer an overview of his holdings and what guides their acquisitions.
An art enthusiast of eclectic interests and periods, Mr. Levett has objects from antiquity through the present. He owns the Mougins Museum of Classical Art in France, which opened in 2011. In addition, he has roles on the board of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, U.K., and on the visitors committee of the Arms and Armor department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He is also on the Met's International Collectors Council.
The lectures are free but registration is required through the Pollock-Krasner House website.

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