As another year begins, so does a new exhibition at The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. The Weisman opened Art for Art’s Sake: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation on Aug. 26, which will run through Nov. 24.
During the 19th century, “Art for Art’s Sake” was the rallying cry for the Aesthetic Movement. This movement believed that art should be enjoyed simply for its aesthetic nature, and this exhibition re-examines that concept with pieces from contemporaries.
This is the first exhibition in Weisman Museum history that features an entirely abstract collection of art.
“If I were to pick one phrase to describe this exhibit I would say ‘controlled chaos,’” explained Michael Zakian, director of the museum.
Although the museum itself is a quiet place in which one may find peace from a chaotic day, the art screams from its place of display. The mind gets a sense of structure within an atmosphere of overload and discord — “controlled chaos” indeed.
This exhibit features contemporary artists such as Brian Porray, Ali Smith and Iva Gueorguieva. These are all young artists who grew up with the Internet, and 90 percent of the pieces featured were done after 2000. This is a collection that students can really connect with.
As the name of the collection connotes, the pieces are meant to be intriguing, visually challenging and aesthetically pleasing. This exhibit shows viewers the importance of art in its simplicity. It isn’t trying to be anything else or represent something that it is not; the goal of this art is to just “be art.” It is “art for art’s sake.”
The Weisman hosts galleries over a span of two floors. To fully enjoy the freestanding pieces, a view from the second floor to the first offers a greater perspective.
Each piece is a way from which to see the world through the eyes of the artist. But their worldview is not forced upon you. You are able to take it in through your own eyes.
The Weisman Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on Mondays and major holidays. There is no admission charge. A reception will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., open to all who would like to attend.
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As published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.