Measure of Time
February 11, 2007; 60 Minutes; Video
Time is of the essence in American art of the past century. Measure of Time showcases the museum's important 20th-century collection along with some significant loans to explore, over time, how artists have worked with temporality and duration. In two galleries of paintings, sculptures, and media (both analog and digital), time and motion are compressed, fragmented, mechanized, sped up, and slowed down to an almost imperceptible pace.
It's about time and it's about space. It's also about the poetry of modern art.
Kicking off our third semester of public programs for Measure of Time will be a very special gallery talk by San Francisco–based poet, critic, essayist, and teacher Bill Berkson. Addressing works in the exhibition by David Ireland, Jay DeFeo, and Jackson Pollock, among others, he will consider how these artists treated temporality, duration, and related concerns in their work.
A gifted storyteller, Berkson has been active in the art and literary worlds since the late 1950s. He has written extensively on such artists as Hans Hofmann, Willem de Kooning, Pollock, Alex Katz, Jasper Johns, and Yvonne Jacquette. His recent books of poetry include Fugue State, Hymns of St. Bridget & Other Writings with Frank O'Hara, Gloria (in a deluxe limited edition with etchings by Alex Katz), and an online chapbook entitled Same Here (at bigbridge.org). A collection of his criticism, The Sweet Singer of Modernism & Other Art Writings: 1985–2003, appeared in 2004. Berkson was the 2006 Distinguished Mellon Fellow at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and is professor of liberal arts at the San Francisco Art Institute.