Skip to main content

Anderson Collection paintings on summer holiday next door at the Cantor

An exhibition exploring the power of abstraction is anchored by landmark works from the Anderson Collection.

When the Anderson Collection at Stanford University temporarily closed for interior maintenance for the summer, five visitor-favorites from the permanent collection crossed the lawn to take up temporary residence at the Cantor Arts Center. The works are by Richard Diebenkorn, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still, who count among the most influential artists active in American abstraction from the 1940s to the 1970s. Their paintings are joined by two from Cantor’s permanent collection by Stanford faculty member Nathan Oliveira and San Francisco painter Elmer Bischoff and a loaned work by the Abstract Expressionist Franz Kline.

Oliveira and Bischoff, along with Stanford alumnus Diebenkorn, were leaders in the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s. The painting by Kline from 1950 expands how this selection expresses a range of approaches to formal abstraction as a means to represent the world and complex human experiences after World War II.


Large paintings on loan from the Anderson Collection by Mark Rothko (left) and Clyfford Still (right) flank a work from the Cantor collection by Elmer Bischoff. (Image credit: Andrew Brodhead)


An exploration of abstraction in the Marie Stauffer Sigall Gallery at the Cantor. (Image credit: Andrew Brodhead)


The summer exhibition was organized by Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, interim co-director of the Cantor and the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator. “Anchored by landmark works from our neighbor the Anderson Collection, this grouping explores the power of abstraction to invite the viewer closer for an intimate confrontation, or to create an environment capable of overwhelming our field of vision,” she says.

The five Anderson Collection works are on view in the Marie Stauffer Sigall Gallery at the Cantor through Aug. 15. After that they will return home to the Anderson, where they will be reinstalled with the permanent collection in time for the museum’s reopening on Sept. 22. Two special exhibitions will also be on view when the museum reopens: Eamon Ore-Giron: Non Plus Ultra and Sam Richardson: Islands, Ice, and Sand.