“The Pursuit of Abstraction”
features prints, paintings, a desk, and a long-lost theater curtain, all linked by what curator Matthew Abess describes as “a common yearning for something beyond the confines of modern reason.” The “magnum opus,” he says, is the 7-by-16-foot theater curtain, which German expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner painted in 1920 for a Swiss amateur theater troupe. Kirchner’s depiction of suns, moons, and fantasy scenes later dropped off the map — until curators recently rediscovered it. Kirchner had painted over it in 1931, but the original bled through to the back of the curtain; both sides will be on display. Other artists in the exhibition include modernist Agnes Pelton and Helen Lundeberg — a foundational figure in “wacky, psychedelic West Coast realism,” Abess says. “The Pursuit of Abstraction” at the Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) opens with a members-only preview party hosted by Abess this Thursday at 7 p.m.; RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the free public open house Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Abess will lead tours at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. After Friday, admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors, and children ages 6 to 12; State University System of Florida members, Wolfsonian members, and kids younger than 6 get in free. The show runs through April 16, 2017. Visit wolfsonian.org
or call 305-531-1001.
The Wolfsonian’s newest exhibition spotlights works that defied the secular rationality of the early 20th Century — and can help you escape today’s rational grind too.