Nov 08, 2012 • By

Art spotlight: Paint resembling cloth

Today, and each Friday through Nov. 30, we’re doing a sort of art crawl at our headquarters.

Don McNeil, curator of General Mills’ 1,400-piece art collection, will point out some of his favorite works.

An interesting piece with a rather uninteresting name, is our first stop.

Fold 82

“It’s a piece I really like because it is different,” says Don. “I think it’s good to have things that kind of challenge our perception of what things are. In this case, what a piece of art is, or what a painting is.”

Fold 82 is by California artist Linda Bessemer. It looks like a piece of oil cloth, but it’s really a painting.

“This is unique in that I’ve never seen a painting like this. Most of the time, a painting is oil on something. Acrylic on something. This is acrylic, just acrylic. It’s just paint. It’s made up of layers and layers and layers of paint. Acrylic is a plastic, so when it dries, it has some stability to it,” Don says.

Simply put, Fold 82 is a rectangle of solidified, vibrant-colored paint draped over a rod.

Don imagines what it was like when Bessemer created it.

“I have this vision of her … laying this paint out on the floor or some flat surface and letting it dry, and then when she’s done, kind of holding it up, and it is kind of floppy, and then saying, ‘What can I do with now? I’ll throw it over a clothes line. Oh this looks pretty good.’”

In so many ways, the painting defies traditional art. It’s unusual not only in its presentation, but also in its sculptural display. In this video, Don talks about how the piece really defines modern art.

Fold 82 is actually the second painting we received from Bessemer. She had created a different fold-type piece for General Mills, but that one faded.

Bessemer was unsuccessful at fixing it.

Six months later, she sent us Fold 82.

Editor’s note: We highlighted some of Don’s favorite pieces in the company’s art collection in a series. This was the first post in that series. Here is the second, third and final post. Don talked about the purpose and function of art at General Mills in this post. And, we featured five of the outdoor art pieces on the General Mills campus back in July, beginning with this post.