June 14, 2017

Williamstown, MA—Alexandra Schwartz, guest curator of the Clark Art Institute’s upcoming exhibition, As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings, presents the opening lecture for the exhibition on Sunday, July 2 at 3 pm in the Clark’s auditorium. In her lecture, “In and Around the Landscape: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings,” Schwartz explores contemporary artist Helen Frankenthaler’s long-standing, if ambivalent, relationship to the tradition of landscape painting.

From her earliest, reputation-making work of the 1950s, to her late, experimental paintings of the 1990s, this ambivalent relationship to landscape presents a constant tension in Frankenthaler’s art. Schwartz discusses how the twelve large-scale paintings included in As in Nature, made over the course of Frankenthaler’s long career, engage with this tension.
As in Nature is on view July 1–October 24, 2017 in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, located on the Clark’s campus.

Alexandra Schwartz is a New York-based independent curator and scholar of modern and contemporary art. In addition to As in Nature, her recent projects include American Histories, a group show of contemporary figurative drawing, at Pi Artworks London (fall 2016). Until 2016, she was the founding curator of contemporary art at the Montclair Art Museum. Her exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s toured nationally in 2015–16 and was accompanied by a major catalogue from the University of California Press (for which she won First Place, 2016 Association of Art Museum Curators Award for Excellence, Outstanding Article or Essay). At Montclair she also organized exhibitions of Sanford Biggers, Jean Shin, Dannielle Tegeder, and Saya Woolfalk, among others; and spearheaded major commissions and acquisitions by artists including Mark Dion, Spencer Finch, Sheila Hicks, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kara Walker.

Previously she was a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, where her exhibitions included Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now and Modern Women: Single Channel at MoMA PS1. She is the author of Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles (MIT Press, 2010), the co-editor of Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art (First Place, 2010 Association of Art Museum Curators Award for Excellence, Outstanding Permanent Collection Catalogue), and the editor of Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages by Ed Ruscha (MIT Press, 2002). Schwartz has taught at Columbia University, Montclair State University, the School of Visual Arts, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and the University of Michigan, and in the education departments at The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She received a BA from Harvard University and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; open daily in July and August. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 4303.
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