DAY 1: The lesson began with a discussion about the "Biomorphism
" art movement and examples by a few of the artists involved--Jean Arp, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
By 2087, traces of biomorphism
, Deco-Tech, and even classic Roman and Greek architecture could be seen superimposed on kinetic architecture, labeled at that time "super-kinetic."
His work in Chile had prepared him for the transition, and he immediately adopted biomorphism
Yet there had always been another, equally significant approach in Surrealism: organic abstraction, now known as biomorphism
counters Surrealism's equally marked strain of free association as revealed by Dali's Lobster Telephone, 1936, even as David Smith's Saw Head and Chain Head, both 1933, illuminate the germ of an incubating Abstract Expressionism.
It matters little whether Keping's art presses the limits of biomorphism
or courts abstraction.
(There were also four sculptures of steel planks and one cubic bronze that must have started with palpitated clay.) The figures, Culture (2008) and The Other Brother Part Two (2010), look like a blend of early modernist sculpture, mid-century biomorphism
and garden topiary.
and hyperreal rendering bring to mind Miro (in particular his paintings of the late '30s) and especially Yves Tanguy.
But she also produced a net of geometric biomorphism
whose flattened literalism was unlike that of any of her colleagues, a development that linked gesture and field approaches, but whose use of an apparently flat-footed naivete was attempted by few at this time--i.e., by Danish painter Asger Jorn--although in the U.S., it would return in Eva Hesse's early painting and bas-relief, Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Nets, Roy Lichtenstein's large representations of brush strokes, and later, with Elizabeth Murray and others in what Marcia Tucker would dub "Bad Painting." (29)
The same is true of the work of many of his younger associates, an oft-quoted statement by Borduas about individuality notwithstanding: "If I am certain I am in front of a Mousseau, it is because of unintentional plastic relationships that are inevitable and constant in his work, which my memory tells me are unique and particular to everything he makes" Sometimes, as in the Gorkyesque biomorphism
of Borduas's earliest abstractions (and of some of the other Automatistes), the explanation can be found in common sources.
Gray advocated an approach that would "develop [modernist] formulas and push them to the point where they reestablish contact with life." Rather than representing a return to premodernist ideals, her ideas--as the objects in the show made palpably clear--shared common ground with opponents of pictorial abstraction and architectural functionalism, such as Dada, biomorphism
, and various antimodernisms.
Breer's work owed a debt to these early pioneers, but it was quicker, more violent, jagged, highlighting the rough edges of torn construction paper and letting squares and triangles veer away from the world of the Platonic Always and into the world of randomness and biomorphism
. Breer, in other words, differed from his predecessors by embracing some of the impulsiveness of Abstract Expressionism and the shifting, nerve-racking time signatures of bebop and free jazz.