Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

IMAGE AND ENERGY; Selections from the Haskell Collection A New Exhibit at JMOMA Abstract Works Are Vibrant, Energetic - like Their Owner

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

IMAGE AND ENERGY; Selections from the Haskell Collection A New Exhibit at JMOMA Abstract Works Are Vibrant, Energetic - like Their Owner

Article excerpt

Byline: TANYA PEREZ-BRENNAN, The Times-Union

With the help of two others, Preston Haskell, 65, moved the heavy piece of art.

"There," he said, pointing to the unmistakable signature on the back.

Written loosely with black marker it read, "F. Stella, 1978."

It was Double Scramble, a series of rainbow-colored bands that almost create an optical illusion by ascending and descending.

The painted diptych is only one of 11 Frank Stella originals in the largest public viewing ever of Haskell's private and corporate collection.

The show, called "Image and Energy: Selections from the Haskell Collection," opens tonight at the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and runs through Sunday, Jan. 9.

For more than 30 years, Haskell has been amassing an impressive art collection -- worth well into the "millions," he said -- of Abstract Expressionism, one of the most important artistic movements.

The works in this show -- 63 paintings, drawings and one installation -- trace the artistic progression of the movement from Action Painting to Color Painting, Minimalism and beyond. The show features key names, such as Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.

Experts say Haskell's collection is unique.

"I'm amazed at the surveylike quality," said Debra Murphy Livingston, chair of the Department of Art and Design at the University of North Florida. Livingston wrote one of the three essays in the show's 103-page catalog. "If you picked up any book on this period, you would see the same 10 names and with very few exceptions he has all of them. . . . This is the type of show you would expect to see at the Whitney or the Modern in New York."

George Kinghorn, chief curator at JMOMA, said the exhibit is not only the most comprehensive yet of Haskell's collection but also highlights some more recent acquisitions.

The works in the collection are consistent with Haskell's interests, Kinghorn said.

"Preston has a love of intense, saturated colors," he said.

As Haskell walked through the museum looking at the pieces, his gestures grew more and more animated, his eyes brightening behind his glasses. …

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