August 19, 2010

Henry Geldzahler

Henry Geldzahler, after graduating from Harvard in 1960 went to work at the MET, Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There he became the Curator for American Art and later the first Curator for 20th Century Art.  He loved art but more than that he loved the artists who created the art.  Geldzahler, who liked to be known as "Henry, just Henry", had a special relationship with the contemporary artists of the time.  Known for his youthful vibrance and fun loving spirit, Henry spent most of his time associating with artists such as Hockney, Stella, Warhol, de Kooning, Kline and Johns.  Some of his greatest contributions were bringing contemporary art to the MET, his amazing eye in art and his 1969 exhibition New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970.  The New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970  show, also known as "Henry's Show", showcased over 400 works from 43 artists.  He received mixed criticism for the show but it has become a legendary success throughout time in the art world. 

This is my favorite piece curated in his show.  It is called Spectrum V by Ellsworth Kelly.  Henry asked Kelly to paint a spectrum especially for the 1969 show.  He worked for months calling the work one of his greatest challenges.  He wanted to create the perfect spectrum which would naturally carry the spectator's eye down the wall.

Watch this movie on him it's great!