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Oh, the Artists They Knew!

Mon, 05/01/2023 - 16:41
"Creative Exchanges" features artwork by, left to right, John Little above James Brooks, Costantino Nivola above Helen Frankenthaler, and Adolph Gottlieb and Paul Jenkins.

The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in Springs opens for the season on Thursday with a trip back in time, before cellphones, before email, before personal computers, even before the invention of the Rolodex. 

For its opening exhibition, "Creative Exchanges: Artists in Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner's Address Books," the show's co-curators, James L. Bauer and Theresa E. Davis, have chosen works by more than 30 of the 75 listed artists, among them Jackson's teacher Thomas Hart Benton, his early friends Philip Guston and Reuben Kadish, and his brothers Charles and Sanford. 

Lee's lover Igor Pantuhoff, her fellow Hans Hofmann School alumni Fritz Bultman and Mercedes Matter, and her psychiatrist Leonard I. Siegel, who also had a house in Springs, are included as well.

The installation also features "Indian Dances," a 1947 record album inscribed "To Lee and Jackson with love," by Nataraj Vashi and Pravina Mehta. A 1944 copy of James Joyce's "Stephen Hero," given to Pollock by Tony Smith, is on view, as is a painted driftwood sculpture by Betty Parsons from about 1981, one of Pollock's earliest champions as an art dealer and an artist in her own right.

Mr. Bauer and Ms. Davis will lead a live virtual tour of the exhibition on Monday from 4 to 5 p.m. A Zoom link is on the study center's website.

A fully illustrated catalog, with essays by Tim Keane and Patsy Southgate, is available for $10 in the museum store. The catalog, along with the pages of all three address books, a master list of the entries, and a 3-D tour of the exhibition, is also accessible at

In conjunction with the exhibition, "The Art of Relationships," a Zoom lecture series, will focus on the individual artists on Sundays at 5 p.m., starting this week with "Guston: The Capacity of Painting," a talk by Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Mr. Cooper will present a virtual tour of the museum's retrospective exhibition "Philip Guston Now," discussing the artist's life and work, as well as his boyhood friendship with Pollock.

Upcoming talks include "Charles Pollock, Jackson's Oldest Brother" by Philip Rylands of the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Fla. (May 14), and "Helen Frankenthaler in the Early 1950s" by Elizabeth Smith of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in New York City (May 21). 

The exhibition and the lecture series will continue through July 30.

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