Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


Make a Mark: Art of the 1960s
  • Make a Mark: Art of the 1960s
  • 01-Apr-2008 - 01-Jun-2008
  • Central Court, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Drawn from the Spencer’s permanent collection, Make a Mark: Art of the 1960s shows the many approaches to color, form, gesture, and layering that occupied artists in this pivotal decade. All of these artistic traits owe a debt to earlier 20th-century modernism, from Kandinsky’s vibrant abstractions to Picasso’s collages and Jackson Pollock’s dripping. Artists like Grace Hartigan and Sam Francis continued to allow the spontaneous process introduced earlier in the century to influence their colorful results. Yet, during the 1960s the modernist tendencies toward personal expression and originality were often called into question as the skepticism of postmodernism began to ferment. Op artists like Richard Anuszkiewicz and Jesús Rafael Soto carefully calculated their compositions to prompt disorientating visual and spatial experiences for the viewer, while Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and others strove for coolness and objectivity in their techniques and forms. However, even when the process of mark-making is reduced to impersonal painted stripes or abstract layering of colors to form a screen-printed portrait, the conceptual presence of the creator still registers. Whether working in Op, Pop, Minimalist or Expressionist modes, 1960s artists continued to “make marks” in their art and in culture at large that have resonated ever since.

This exhibition is organized by Spencer Museum of Art European and American Art Intern Lara Kuykendall in conjunction with the exhibition Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s.