Lee Krasner, Out of the Storeroom

Lee Krasner, Stretched Yellow, 1955. Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, gift of the Gordon F. Hampton Foundation, through Wesley G. Hampton, Roger K. Hampton, and Katharine H. Shenk

Cal State Long Beach's Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum is notorious for displaying "frankly terrible" works by its eponymous benefactor while major pieces by Lee Krasner lie in storage. The second part of that anomaly is about to change, at least temporarily. The Kleefeld is planning a capsule retrospective of Krasner, with six abstractions spanning c. 1942 to 1961. Four are gifts from the Gordon F. Hampton Foundation that have been owned by the museum since 1999. A rare early painting by Hans Hofmann (Krasner's teacher) will also be shown. Hofmann is the guy who told Krasner that her art was so good, you'd never know it was by a woman.

"Lee Krasner: A Through Line" will run Feb. 7 through May 19, 2023.


Anonymous said…
> ...displaying "frankly terrible" works..

True. But in today's culture, where everything and anything are increasingly judged as "in the eye of the beholder" and affected by the idea that standards depend upon identity politics, today's terrible is tomorrow's greatness. I'm not being totally sarcastic either. Look at how, for example, the Impressionists or Van Gogh were rated and treated generations ago.
So tiring. We get it.
Why not change gears and enlighten us on what you actually like, and why?
Japecake said…
Was very curious about the situation here, read the lacerating review by Christopher Knight, and finally found an article about the original "arrangement" that includes the cringiest, ass-kissiest statement you can imagine: " 'Carolyn’s impact on California art has been nothing short of remarkable,' University President Jane Close Conoley said in a statement, 'and we are delighted that the University Art Museum will be part of her lasting legacy, as well as provide us with the opportunity to showcase her work and that of other significant artists.' ”

As for CCK's other museum holdings, well: "Her artwork is included in the permanent collections of The Downey Museum of Art, Pepperdine University’s Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur and The Dylan Thomas Theatre in Swansea, Wales."
Anonymous said…
This is not much different than what is happening at Champman University in Orange...

There the donors convinced a college to display more of their bad art collection and personal bric-a-brac for a large donation.

This is also not much different than what the Ahmanson Foundation has been doing for years. Buying art by secondary artists for LA museums and demanding that the museums display the art as if the works were masterpieces. They are NOT masterpieces.

As I've argued before, LA may be one of the world's art capital, but the intellectual foundation is not strong. On that note, I don't know why the local art critics pile on. They are as much a part of the problem as the college presidents who made these deals.

--- J. Garcin
Anonymous said…
The anti-"Save the LACMA mob" folks don't seem to have a particularly strong intellectual foundation either.