"While painting away in my studio, an event would occur that I couldn't explain, and which I called inspiration. It would feel as if I were being given over to something, to a force, working through me. Afterward, I never could remember the sequence of events. I don't know its natural shape, nor do I need to know it. Enough that I have found my way to it." Jules Olitski
Hackett Mill presents Transcendent, an exhibition of work by American and Asian artists in the 1950s and 1960s during a period defined by intense artistic innovation and risk taking. Key pieces, on exhibit in San Francisco for the first time, manifest the tenor of the era for Abstract Expressionists, Color Field artists and Bay Area Figurative painters and sculptors. Work by artists including Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, Al Held, Frank Lobdell, Conrad Marca-Relli, Manuel Neri, Jules Olitski, David Park, Robert Schwartz, Raimonds Staprans, Brian Wall, Emerson Woelffer and others informs the viewer's reading of work by Arthur Okamura, Emiko Nakano and Kenzo Okada, and vice versa. For example, the color and surface sensibilities in Kenzo Okada's Muted No. 2 reverberate with the markings in Jules Olitski's color passages and at the same time call to mind the observed and intuited light in Richard Diebenkorn's Cigar Box Lid No. 5.
In a recent article in the New York Times, art critic Roberta Smith put forth David Park as a creator "who can light a fire under a young artist and also teach the public a great deal about looking at painting, a skill we seem to be in danger of losing". With Transcendent, we see a collaborative dialogue that invites us to look beyond individual works of art to recognize and experience the human need to emote through art making.
Transcendent encourages us to take risks as viewers, much as the artists took risks in creating their work. The exhibition asks us to look at art in a way that transcends our normal viewing experience and allows us to make unexpected new discoveries.