Susan Davidson, with Catherine Craft and Carrie Moyer
“His dedication to abstraction and his determination, in the monumental and extensive series ‘Elegies to the Spanish Republic,’ to evoke the emotional implications of political events seem particularly relevant to the present moment: with crises from climate change and the invasion of Ukraine to the ongoing tolls of racism and broken governance all but demanding a response from artists, the example of a predecessor deeply pondering the creation of art amid such issues may be instructive, even inspiring.” —Catherine Craft, “Robert Motherwell: Pure Painting,” The Brooklyn Rail
Susan Davidson, guest curator of Robert Motherwell: Pure Painting, opens this Tuesday Evenings at the Modern presentation with a brief overview of the exhibition before turning the evening over to writer, art historian, and Nasher Sculpture Center Curator Catherine Craft and artist Carrie Moyer. Craft and Moyer are in conversation about Robert Motherwell based on their individual perspectives and interests in Motherwell as an icon of Abstract Expressionism and a passionate intellectual at a time that continues to inform and shape the art world today.
This presentation is the first of the Tuesday Evenings fall season and a fitting farewell to Robert Motherwell: Pure Painting, as the exhibition closes September 17.
Susan Davidson is the guest curator of Robert Motherwell: Pure Painting. In 2012, she curated Robert Motherwell: Early Collages for the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Davidson is currently editing the Robert Rauschenberg catalogue raisonné, volume 1, and is writing a monograph on Tom Wesselmann’s Great American Nudes.
Catherine Craft is Curator at Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, and a scholar of Dada, Abstract Expressionism, and Neo-Dada. She was the curator of the traveling exhibitions The Nature of Arp (2018); Melvin Edwards: Five Decades (2021); and Nairy Baghramian: Modéle vivant (2022). Craft holds a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of numerous articles and books, including An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism (University of Chicago, 2012) and Robert Rauschenberg (Phaidon, 2013).
Carrie Moyer lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her paintings and works on paper critically interrogate the formal and conceptual conventions of painting while embracing an approach to abstraction rooted in optical pleasure. Freely oscillating between abstraction and representation, Moyer’s work speaks not only to her commitment to feminist political theory, but also to her deep investment in art history. As she explains, “What is political about my painting is its basis in my own experience. The work engages the history of 20th-century painting from the margins, a position defined by humor, exuberance, and disruption.” She is represented in prominent collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York. Her awards and fellowships include the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, Perugia, Italy (2019); American Academy of Arts & Letters Art Award (2018); and Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). Moyer is a Professor and the Co-Director of the graduate studio program at Hunter College of the City University of New York.
The presentation is supported by the Dedalus Foundation.