Mikus’s early work received considerable attention; her paintings were exhibited at and eventually purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in the 1960s. Yet despite initial success and a long teaching career at Cornell University, Mikus’s work seems to have largely been missed by art history. The Drawing Center’s fall exhibition Eleanore Mikus: From Shell to Skin aims to redress this oversight.
The exhibition will focus on the core formal concerns present in Mikus’s work from the beginning of the 1960s until today. A selection of early drawings and conceptually connected paintings will be on view featuring several “Tablets” from the early 1960s as well as “Paperfolds” from the later 1960s and the past two decades. Subtle shadows on the uneven topographies of the monochromatic paintings and intricately patterned grids of the folded paper works create what the artist terms a “kinesthetic moving surface.”
Seemingly minimalist and reductive in style, Mikus’s paintings and folded paper works actually result from experimentation with and refinement of additive processes, as she continues to work and rework her pieces for many years, often returning to them after long periods of time.