The Most Difficult Journey: The Pointdexter Collections of American Modernist Painting

April 8 - May 23, 2004

the most difficult journey, pointdexter (1)
the most difficult journey, pointdexter (2)

The Most Difficult Journey:

The Pointdexter Collections of American Modernist Painting

April 6 - May 23, 2004

In 1962, collector George Poindexter (1900–1975) said that the most difficult journey he had ever taken was into the appreciation of abstract art. The Most Difficult Journey: The Poindexter Collections of American Modernist Painting features 60 paintings from a remarkable collection of American modernist art acquired by George and Elinor Poindexter between 1950 and 1994.

The collection, now divided between the Montana Historical Society and the Yellowstone Art Museum, includes work by many of the country’s most important painters of the postwar era: Richard Diebenkorn, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline, as well as lesser-known artists who nonetheless made significant contributions to American modern and abstract painting.

After initially regarding abstract expressionism and other modern artistic trends with bafflement, George Poindexter learned not only to understand abstract art, but also to love it. The Most Difficult Journey provides a glimpse into the New York gallery scene, the aesthetics of the Poindexters themselves, and new perspectives on the concepts of abstraction in the midst of the pop art and minimalist movements. Though individual works and smaller selections from the Poindexter collections have been exhibited before, this is the first time that a large portion of this extraordinary legacy is touring nationally.

The Henry Luce Foundation generously provided funds that made possible the research and conservation necessary for this exhibition and accompanying catalogue. The Most Difficult Journey is curated by Ben Mitchell, senior curator at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. The exhibition is organized by the Yellowstone Art Museum and toured by ExhibitsUSA. The purpose of ExhibitsUSA is to create access to an array of arts and humanities exhibitions, nurture the development and understanding of diverse art forms and cultures, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. ExhibitsUSA is a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1972.