In celebration of the Academy’s 125th anniversary, Encounters investigates the enduring impact of the city of Rome as a dynamic creative laboratory via a series of interdisciplinary exchanges. Spanning the immediate post–World War II period to the present day, the results of these collaborations were not always immediately apparent, but their impact continues to resonate throughout the arts and the humanities in the United States and around the world. This exhibition, articulated in two parts, highlights specific examples of this central aspect of the Academy’s mission, demonstrating the interplay between visual art, musical composition, literature, and architecture set against, interpreting, and engaging monuments and urban space in Rome and elsewhere in Italy.
The exhibition traces, in particular, how these encounters have contributed to the development of several distinct strains of abstraction. Emerging from conceptions of city, space, society, and history, and employing differing perspectives and techniques such as collage and the imaginary interpretation of architecture, these strains, expressed in a range of separate but interconnected media, owe a great deal to the unique intellectual and creative atmosphere at the American Academy in Rome.
Featured artist are: John Cage and Philip Guston; Eleanor Clark and Eugene Berman; and Al Held, Stephen Kieran, and James Timberlake.