Newark Museum to be Honored at US Arts Critics AssociationAwards Ceremony
he Newark Museum is the recipient of a prestigious award given by the United States section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA) for the exhibition Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s- 50s. On behalf of the Museum, Mary Kate O’Hare, curator of the exhibition, will accept the second place award for “Best Thematic Museum Show Nationally” at a ceremony to be held at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art on March 14.
“On behalf of the Newark Museum, its board and Trustees, we congratulate Mary Kate O’Hare for her exemplary work in bringing forth new scholarship on South and North American geometric abstraction,” remarked Newark Museum Director, Mary Sue Sweeney Price. “I am very proud that The Newark Museum is receiving such wonderful recognition for originating thoughtful and innovative exhibitions.”
The twenty-six winners of the 2010 AICA-USA awards were chosen from a group of over one hundred finalists, and include exhibitions focusing on Marina Abramović, Tino Seghal and Cai Guo-Qiang, the mid 20th century artists Arshile Gorky and Yves Klein and the 19th-century and early 20th century masters Henri Matisse, Otto Dix and Claude Monet, as well as thematic exhibitions dealing with the presence of women artists in pop art, history of performance art, and the Bauhaus.
The winning projects were nominated and voted on by the 400 active AICA-USA members to honor outstanding exhibitions. The Newark Museum joins other leading institutions garnering AICA recognition, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Walker Art Center, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.
“I am tremendously honored and invigorated to receive this distinction from the AICA,” said curator Mary Kate O’Hare. “It is a privilege to be in such good company.”
Organized as part of the Newark Museum’s Centennial celebration, Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s-50s was the first exhibition to bring together South American and US geometric abstraction. It included more than 90 works by 70 artists from Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Constructive Spirit examined the connections, both conceptual and personal, among these artists, suggesting parallels that cut across time, national borders, and a range of media, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings and films. Featured artists included Alexander Calder, Joaquín Torres-García, Jesús Rafael Soto, Lygia Clark, and Ellsworth Kelly, as well as artists who deserve much wider recognition, including Charmion von Wiegand, Geraldo de Barros, Lidy Prati, and many others. Constructive Spirit was on view at Newark February 17-May 23, 2010; it then traveled to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, where it was on view June 26 through September 5, 2010. The exhibition was accompanied by a major publication of the same name.