Art in Boston: George McNeil and Norman Foster

I’m going to Boston for a couple of art-related reasons: To catch the exhibition of mid-career oil paintings by noted 20th century American modernist George McNeil at ACME Fine Arts & Design; and to visit the Museum of Fine Arts’ new Art of the Americas Wing, designed by Norman Foster.

Keyboard, oil on panel, 1952, by George McNeil

Keyboard, 1952

Wave Painting, oil on panel, 1968, by George McNeil

Wave Painting, 1968

Clandestine, oil on canvas, 1965, by George McNeil

Clandestine, 1965

Never a celebrity, George McNeil (1908-1995) was well known by those at the center of the avant-garde art world, and he remains a key figure in the history of 20th century art in America. He was among the first to move successfully beyond Abstract Expressionism to become a founder of the Figurative Expressionist movement. This transition is the focus of the ACME Fine Art exhibition. Helen McNeil, the artist’s daughter, will give a gallery talk on his life and work on February 26.

The new Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts opened a few months ago to a lot of praise. Designed by the British architects Norman Foster & Partners, it comprises 53 galleries on four floors holding some 5,000 objects, and as the New York Times said, “It’s a wow. Almost double-wow. Really good.” I can’t wait to experience it for myself.

The new Arts of the Americas Wing designed by Norman Foster at the Museum of the Fine Arts Boston

 

The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

The new Arts of the Americas Wing designed by Norman Foster at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston