“We thought someday when we fall off our perches, we wanted our art in a place like the National Gallery, open to the public…” explained Jane Meyerhoff, who, with her husband collected and donated the 46 big bold pieces currently on loan from the D.C. institute and displayed at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. These paintings will definitely rock your perch. Depending on your sensibility, they could be a revelatory primer or a greatest hits of Abstract Expressionism, so prepare to spread your wings either way.
Representing the post-War, dare I say, mavericks who made independent statements with their striking use of color, line and gesture, the art ranges from Ellsworth Kelly’s strong and clear “Orange Green” to the jarring narrative of Eric Fischl’s “Saigon Minnestoa.” Consider the tension of vertical lines in Roy Lichtenstein’s “Statue of Liberty and scarily infinite tranquility of Josef Alber’s “Study for Homage to the Square: Light Rising.” There is no decay looking through the window of Hans Hofmann’s “Autumn Gold.” The Fall is alive and crackling.
Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park runs through October 12th.