Thomas McEvilley, Critic and Defender of Non-Western Art, Dies at 73.
In 1984, when MoMA New York opened its exhibition “‘Primitivism’ in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern,” the reception was generally favorable. Then came Thomas McEvilley’s shattering review in Artforum magazine…[which] meticulously, logically and thoroughly demolished the exhibition’s basic, unstated assumption: that the indigenous arts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceania and the Americas were of value primarily as source materials for Western modernism.
But Mr. McEvilley, a longtime professor at Rice, wasn’t done yet. In powerfully accessible language, he extended the charge of reductive thinking to the museum itself, and to Western art scholarship and criticism as a whole.
The show’s curators tried to rebut his attack in letters to Artforum. Mr. McEvilley came back with even more persuasively damning arguments. They were the opening salvos in an argument about multiculturalism that would define American art for the rest of the 1980s and ‘90s.
Donald Judd, Untitled 1989 represents the apex of Donald Judd’s career-long involvement with establishing space and color as the foremost elements in art. The creation of rectilinear objects that confronted the viewer with their obdurate material presence was part of the visual vocabulary of so-called Minimalist artists, among them Robert Morris and Dan Flavin. But, only with Flavin does Judd share the extraordinarily compelling visual opulence that catalyzed these artists’ concern with the visual activation of space. Writing “there is no neutral space, since space is made,” with Untitled, Judd insisted that his objects existed as self-evident participants with no relation to anything beyond their factual presence: material and color are the work’s only constituent elements.
Ruth Carter Stevenson of the Amon Carter Museum Dies at 89.
By the time Amon Carter died in 1955, he had acquired more than 700 paintings and sculptures, most of them by Remington or Russell. It fell to his daughter, Mrs. Stevenson, to fulfill the clause in his will to build a museum to house his collection. She recruited Philip Johnson to design a building, inspired by a Greek temple, on a triangle of land on the northwest side of Fort Worth. The museum opened in January 1961.
“Nearly immediately, Ruth began to realize that this should not just be a museum for Western art, but should be for all of American art,” said Andrew J. Walker, the museum director. “She begins to collect, with the help of her first director, Mitch Wilder, great masterworks of American art in all medias.”
The museum now houses more than 200,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, among them works by Thomas Eakins, Georgia O’Keeffe, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Thomas Cole, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Alexander Calder, Marsden Hartley, Frederic Church and Stuart Davis.