You have one final week in which to experience the wonderful exhibition about Black Mountain College at the ICA. ONE FINAL WEEK. One week to see de Koonings and Klines and Albers’ oh my! I finally made it down on a quiet Tuesday afternoon.
The exhibition charts the course of Black Mountain College- an arts school in the Appalachians that cultivated and produced some of the best artists of the mid-twentieth century. Willem and Elaine de Kooning participated, as did Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Kenneth Noland… etc etc etc.
The school operated on the principles of American pragmatist John Dewey, so I dutifully turned to him for study.Along with some cheesecake, to aid in cognition. Dewey believed that experimental intelligence was key to innovation and that any art object was inextricably connected to the culture and society that surround it. The college operated as a collective artistic community in which experimentation was encouraged and one’s peers and teachers were there to aid in innovation and interdisciplinary learning. Many of the really notable pieces produced at the school are included in this exhibition, including Willem de Kooning’s Asheville, a piece on loan from the Phillips Collection in D.C. (a really wonderful little museum that holds a special place in my heart- absolutely go if you are in the Dupont Circle area).
The exhibition is well done and will make you totally art geek out if you like modern art. You can see ballet performances of some of the dances created there, read and listen to some of the poetry written there, and immerse yourself totally in this remarkable experiment. I recommend you go on a snowy afternoon, wander through, get a coffee at The Thinking Cup, and read Brooklyn (and go see the film after as well). That was the recipe for my perfect Tuesday.