University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach Wins “Best Show in a University Gallery”

The American chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA) has selected the University Art Museum (UAM) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) as one of its two “Best Show in a University Gallery” Award recipients for the UAM’s 2010 exhibition “Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg.”

The AICA-USA announced the winners of its Best Show Awards honoring artists, curators and institutions for excellence in art exhibitions in 2011.  Two exhibitions were chosen as winners in each of the 12 categories and were selected by the 400 critics and other art experts who make up the association’s U.S. membership.

Curated by UAM Director Christopher Scoates and CSULB graduate student Elizabeth Anne Hanson, “Perpetual Motion” was a tribute to Goldberg and an in-depth survey of the artist’s work.  The exhibit ran from September to December 2010.

“To be acknowledged in the ‘Best Show in a University Gallery’ category is so meaningful.  The award, however, really goes to the entire UAM staff who worked exceptionally hard to realize this important exhibition,” Scoates said.  “For a small museum, this is a big award and proves, once again, that we punch well above our weight.”

For “Perpetual Motion,” the UAM exhibited more than 30 large-scale paintings and works on paper, including four seminal works from the UAM’s Gordon F. Hampton Collection.  The survey sought to showcase landmark works in the artist’s first retrospective.

“Our exhibition represented six decades of Michael Goldberg’s career with works that were large in scale and positively vibrating with life. That this exhibition should be honored as it has been by the AICA speaks to his impact on a post-war, and distinctly American, approach to painting,” Hanson explained.  “This retrospective holds particular significance because it was the first to consider his place in American art.  It is exciting to know that the UAM and CSULB can claim this tremendous honor.”

With a style that began in the 1940s with blunt, decisive, geometric shapes of primary color, Michael Goldberg’s (1924-2007) work grew into a more gestural approach in the years that followed. Goldberg pushed the boundaries imposed upon second-generation Abstract Expressionists for more than 50 years. An abstract painter of the New York School, he was highly influenced by the works of Willem de Kooning, Arshille Gorky and Clyfford Still.

“Perpetual Motion” was the third exhibition in a series of five featuring works from the Hampton Collection made possible by Wesley G. Hampton.

AICA-USA is the United States section of the International Association of Art Critics, which was founded in June 1949.  AICA-USA, headquartered in New York, is the largest national section with a membership of more than 400 distinguished critics, curators, scholars and art historians around the country.  Each year, in a widely covered event, AICA-USA presents museums, galleries and alternative spaces with Best Show awards.  AICA is the only organization to award excellence in museum and gallery exhibitions

Spring 2012 Issue

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