Beyond the mainstream
09 April 2003
Both paintings shown here are on display as part of the Berkeley Art Museumís Turning Corners exhibit. Selected from the museumís permanent collection by curator Lucinda Barnes, each piece in the show can be seen as a break with tradition and a move away from the artistic mainstream of its time.
Flight Into Egypt (c. 1545-1555), at top right, is from the school of Netherlandish painter Joachim Patenier. Although the landscape never constituted the subject of Patenierís pictures, he was the first Netherlandish artist to let it dwarf the figure in the scenes he painted. His paintings are seen as a turning point in the development of landscape as an independent genre. Donated to the brand-new campus in 1871, this canvas is, in fact, the first work of art acquired by UC Berkeley.
Number 6, 1950, bottom right, by Jackson Pollock, embodies the artistís radical break with modernist painting conventions. Created by flinging, dripping, and pouring commercial house paint onto a canvas spread on a floor, his inimitable work broke the boundaries of art as people knew it at mid-century. This painting, acquired by BAM in 1996, is the only drip painting of Pollockís in a Bay Area museum collection.
Turning Corners is on view at the Berkeley Art Museum through summer 2004.