From Abstract Expressionism . . . . . . To Gestural and Post-Painterly Abstraction and Color Field

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To Gestural and Post-Painterly Abstraction and Color Field Painting

Sonia Gechtoff

James Kelly

Nina Tryggvadottir

Alcopley

Howard Daum

Matsumi Kanemitsu

Nancy Genn

Joan Thorne

Beate Wheeler

Martha Szabo

Ronnie Landfield

George Hofmann

Willem de Looper

From Abstract Expressionism . . . . . .

ISBN: 978-1-955260-45-9

Front Cover: Sonia Gechtoff, Sea God , 1991, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 60 x 55.25 x 2” Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

Title Page: James Kelly, Taxi, 1962, Oil on canvas, 76.5 x 65“ Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

From Abstract Expressionism . . .

.

. . To Gestural and Post-Painterly Abstraction and Color Field Painting

February 22 through April 11, 2024

Published by:

David Richard Gallery, LLC,

508 West 26th Street, Suite 9E, New York, NY 10001

www.DavidRichardGallery.com

212-882-1705

Gallery Staff:

DavidRichardGalleries1 DavidRichardGallery

David Eichholtz and Richard Barger, Managers

All rights reserved by David Richard Gallery, LLC. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced in whole or part in digital or printed form of any kind whatsoever without the express written permission of David Richard Gallery, LLC.

Catalogue: © 2024 David Richard Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

Artworks:

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC

Copyright © Nina Tryggvadottir Estate

Copyright © Alcopely Estate

Copyright © Howard Daum Estate

Copyright © Matsumi Kanemitsu Estate

Copyright © Nancy Genn

Copyright © Joan Thorne

Copyright © Beate Wheeler Estate

Copyright © Martha Szabo Estate

Copyright © Ronnie Landfield

Copyright © George Hofmann

Copyright © Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation for the Arts

Catalogue Design: David Eichholtz and Richard Barger, David Richard Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

To Gestural and Post-Painterly Abstraction and Color Field Painting

Including artworks by:

Sonia Gechtoff

James Kelly

Nina Tryggvadottir

Alcopley

Howard Daum

Matsumi Kanemitsu

Nancy Genn

Joan Thorne

Beate Wheeler

Martha Szabo

Ronnie Landfield

George Hofmann

Willem de Looper

Essay by David Eichholtz

New York, 2024

From Abstract Expressionism . . . . . .

This presentation is a selection of paintings by modern masters from each referenced movement and painting approach and process noted in the title as well as others, including: Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Art Informel, Color Field Painting, Gestural and Calligraphic mark making. Most of these artists have morphed from one movement into another during their career and even blurred the boundaries between them. The artworks in this presentation span earlier and later periods of the artists careers and are great examples of the transitions in their respective careers.

Abstract Expressionism was a specific movement and group of artists in New York City that emerged in the 1940s and 50s. Often referred to as the New York School, each artist explored and developed different imagery and painting methods to create their unique language and iconography. The painting styes varied, often driven by automatism, but almost always spontaneous and performative acts in front of the canvas, as their creations were an outpouring of the artist’s reactions, emotions, and soul—their inner being and subconscious on the canvas. Hence, frequently referred to as Action Painting. To be clear, the imagery did not depict any specific person, place, or thing, but more of a reaction and specific emotional response to a situation by the artist.

Nina Tryggvadottir and Alcopley were members of the New York School while Sonia Gechtoff and James Kelly were part of the Bay Area group of artists in San Francisco, CA. Matsumi Kanemitsu was part of the Cedar Bar crowd in New York City in the 1950s and close friends with Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning. However, Kanemitsu left New York and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s. His artwork took a noticeable turn from Abstract

Expressionism to lyrical and gestural abstraction, including biomorphic, curvilinear shapes, Post-Painterly Abstraction, and exploration of different media such as print making with June Wayne at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in LA.

Expressionism is a broad, umbrella term for abstraction that emerged in the early 1900s and predated Abstract Expressionism. By contrast, Expressionism is less about the inner being of the maker displayed on the canvas, but more about the artist’s subjective interpretation of reality, including situations, culture, objects, and people. The resulting compositions triggered an emotional response and reaction in viewers. Since the artist’s approach was not a literal depiction of something, but rather their interpretations and reactions by using distorted forms and colors with frenetic, imperfect, and rough brushwork and primitive approaches, the artworks were inherently abstract.

Gechtoff, Kelly, and Alcopley along with Nancy Genn, Joan Thorne, and Martha Szabo all moved down an Expressionistic path at different points in their careers. Each artist was either an early first-generation Abstract Expressionist, or a second to third generation practitioner, or a student of a member of the New York School. Each enjoyed creating expressive strokes with palette knives and/or brushes, while their full body movement of the layered pigment and energy of the vibrant color culminated in exuberant, palpable creations on the canvas. They enjoyed their freedom to be referential, even incorporating defined shapes, forms, and the illusion of three-dimensional space and depth (such as Joan Thorne’s paintings) as well as architecture and human figures in the case of Gechtoff and Szabo, respectively.

Howard Daum, along with Steven Wheeler, Peter Busa, Robert Barrell, and Will Barnet were part of a group referred to as Indian Space Painters that formed in the 1940s and 50s parallel to Abstract Expressionism. The two groups emerged in response to Cubism and Surrealism, and they shared interests in bold gestures and brush strokes with an all over approach to painting, filling the canvas from edge-to-edge. However, avoiding self referen-

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tial mark making, the Indian Space Painters were inspired by Indigenous cultures and utilized their motifs and symbols to create collaged compositions full of layered patterns and spatial depth.

Paintings by Nancy Genn from the early 1950s and 60s with their notable lyrical and calligraphic marks were inspired by Michel Tapié and blurred the distinctions and geographic borders between Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel. The latter, a French term for another collection of approaches to abstract paintings in the 50s and 60s in Europe. Tapié thought of calligraphic marks as signs, almost metaphysical, and a new way of communication. Repeating the signs was an approach toward self-realization, consciousness, and awareness through a meditative process within the artist. Truly, a tremendous influence on the early expressionistic paintings by Nancy Genn and others. Tapié, a critic, theorist and curator was known for his influences on Tachisme, an approach to expressionistic painting in France in the 1950s and 60s. Along with Jean Dubuffet and André Breton, Tapié co-founded the Compagnie de l’Art Brut. Tapié is also credited with L’art Informel by way of his book, “Art of Another Kind”, published in 1952 and describing a style of art making in Europe, more specifically, “action painting” and “lyrical abstraction”, in response to American Abstract Expressionism. In Michel Tapié’s seminal publication, Morphologie Autre, 1960, he located Nancy Genn’s artworks alongside those of Carla Accardi, Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, and Emilio Vedova.

Color Field Painting and Post-Painterly Abstraction both grew out of and were a reaction to Abstract Expressionism with some of the participants overlapping between these three movements. The term Color Field was first used to refer to paintings by Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still while the early protagonists of this movement included Helen Frankthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland. The movement steered away from the self referential, mystical, personal, and emotional aspects of Abstract Expressionism while focusing on pure abstraction through materials and process—staining, pouring and blotting of pigment on frequently unprimed supports—and void of shapes as well as figure and ground relationships. The proponents of Post-Painterly Abstraction veered even further away from any reference to self or the external world, they shifted to pure non-objective abstraction with perfunctory approaches and compositions with an even more rigorous attention to composition, materials, and color—think grids, stripes, dots, targets, etc. These movements are best represented by the paintings of Genn, Beate Wheeler, Ronnie Landfield and Willem de Looper in this presentation.

All of the artists in this exhibition have moved between the different periods discussed above at different times in their careers while they often had their feet in two ponds at the same time. Matsumi (Mike) Kanemitsu and George Hofmann are the two artists who are the most challenging to characterize and place cleanly into specific historical movements and “isms” during discrete periods of time. Kanemitsu’s work was described above. However, George Hofmann was schooled during the twilight of Abstract Expressionism, but entered his professional and teaching career during the dawn of Color Field painting. Hofmann’s work has moved from moody, somber Color Field paintings to more expressionistic, exuberant, and colorful works, where he has moved from brushes and sponges applying color to canvas to applications of hues on wood panels and scraping them with palette knives to both erase and leave a foot print, the residue, of his previous mark. Hofmann, at an advanced stage in his career is still actively exploring who he is and where he wants to land in this pluralistic and confusing, yet exhilarating time in American painting and art history.

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Left hand page detail:

Sonia Gechtoff

Sea God , 1991

Acrylic and graphite on canvas

60 x 55.25 x 2”

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

Right hand page:

Sonia Gechtoff

Sea God , 1991

Acrylic and graphite on canvas

60 x 55.25 x 2”

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

SONIA GECHTOFF (1926 - 2018)

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The Blues ,

48 x 48 x 1.5”

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

The

48 x 48 x 1.5”

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

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Left hand page detail: Sonia Gechtoff 2014 Acrylic and graphite on canvas Right hand page: Sonia Gechtoff Blues , 2014 Acrylic and graphite on canvas

Untitled – Hudson River Skies Series (SG-2007-AC-879), 2007

Acrylic on canvas

Sonia Gechtoff, an important Abstract Expressionist painter was born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating in 1950 from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, she moved to San Francisco in 1951 where she was greatly influenced by the painting of Clyfford Still. She taught at the California School of Fine Art working alongside Hassel Smith and Elmer Bischoff and associated with other Bay Area Abstract Expressionist painters such as Madeleine Diamond, Lilly Fenichel, Deborah Remington, Jay DeFeo and James Kelly, who she married.

The move to San Francisco was productive and garnered her much national attention when in 1954 she was included in the exhibition, “Younger American Painters” and her work was presented alongside Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Gechtoff had the first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1957. She was included in the US Pavillion at the 1958 Brussels World Fair and 1960 São Paulo Bienial, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. as well as the “Annual” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. San Francisco had a positive impact on Gechtoff, she was very much involved in the unique cultural scene and felt the local support. It is where she had her greatest achievements, such as developing her bold use of the palette knife to create long, sharp strokes of pigment across the canvas and the corresponding early recognition with solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Art (currently SFMoMA) and the De Young Museum.

Gechtoff moved to New York in 1958 and worked there until she passed away in early 2018. Though she exhibited at prominent New York galleries, including Poindexter Gallery and Gruenebaum Gallery, significant critical recognition was more difficult to achieve. She felt that the San Francisco art community was more open and treated women artists with greater equality than she experienced in New York. However, never stopping and always moving forward, Gechtoff painted and exhibited throughout her entire career and taught at the National Academy Museum and School in New York, New York University and Art Institute of Chicago. Compositionally and aesthetically, her work changed over the decades in New York. Given her interests in figuration, architecture, landscape and earth elements, representational elements became more prevalent in her paintings and drawings, while abstraction and gestural brush strokes remained constant. She switched from oil to acrylic paint and traded the palette knife for graphite to maintain strong, sharp defining strokes and boundaries in her work.

Gechtoff’s artworks are included in the permanent collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Achenbach Foundation, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Academy of Design, New York; Oakland Museum of Art, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Museum of Art, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; and Worcester Museum of Art, Massachusetts, among others. Gechtoff’s paintings were included in the very important exhibition, Women of Abstract Expressionism at the Denver Museum of Art in 2016 that subsequently traveled to the Mint Museum and the Palm Springs Museum of Art in 2017.

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Sonia Gechtoff
48 x 48 x 1.5”
Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC. Courtesy David Richard Gallery.

Left hand page detail:

James Kelly

Taxi, 1962

Oil on canvas 76.5 x 65“

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

Right hand page:

James Kelly

Taxi, 1962

Oil on canvas 76.5 x 65“

Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

James Kelly (1913 – 2003) is an American abstract painter born in Philadelphia. After enlisting in the second World War, he followed in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and moved to California to study on a GI Bill at the California School of Fine Arts where Clifford Still was a prominent teacher. In San Francisco Kelly’s work flourished, in 1953 he married fellow painter Sonia Getchtoff. Kelly lived in Fillmore in the same building as Jay Defeo, he was at the nexus of artistic activity in Northern California. Kelly was championed by Walter Hopps, who included him in his first exhibition in 1955 known as the Merry Go Round Exhibition, where he installed abstract paintings on a merry go round in Pasadena. Kelly’s paintings were presented alongside works by Mark Rothko and Clifford Still. In Los Angeles, Kelly was one of the original artists at opening of the The Ferus Galley.

JAMES KELLY (1913 - 2003)
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Art works by James Kelly are included in the permanent collections of: the Museum of Modern Art, Whitey Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, Norton Simon Museum, La Jolla Museum of Art, Worcester Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, The Library of Congress, Fogg Museum at Harvard University, New York University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the JP Morgan Chase Art Collection.

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Left hand page detail: James Kelly Untitled , 1980
Oil on
paper
20 x
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Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.
16”
Right hand page: James Kelly Untitled
,
1980
Oil on
paper
20 x
Copyright © Artist Enterprise Holdings, LLC.

Left hand page detail:

Nina Tryggvadottir

Abstraction (NT-OL-60-10) , 1960

Oil on linen

38.38 x 25.125” Framed size 40.75” 27.5”

Copyright © Nina Tryggvadottir Estate

Right hand page:

Nina Tryggvadottir

Abstraction (NT-OL-60-10) , 1960

Oil on linen

38.38 x 25.125” Framed size 40.75” 27.5”

Copyright © Nina Tryggvadottir Estate

NINA TRYGGVADOTTIR (1913 - 1968)

Nina Tryggvadottir was born in 1913 in Seyðisfjörður, on the East coast of Iceland, where she was raised before moving to Reykjavik with her parents. Tryggvadottir was interested in art from an early age and would take art lessons from her uncle, the landscape painter Ásgrímur Jónsson. In 1935 Tryggvadottir went to Copenhagen to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, following which, she lived in Paris. After returning to Iceland at the outbreak of WWII, she went to study in New York on a stipend from the Icelandic State. There, she studied under Morris Kantor, Hans Hoffman and Fernand Leger, and exhibited at the prestigious New Art Circle Gallery run by JB Neumann. She was asked to create stage sets and costumes for a staging of the famous ballet, Soldier’s Tale, by Igor Stravinsky and CF Ramus. After being banned from the US under McCarthyism, Tryggvadottir lived in Paris, where she exhibited at the Musée d’Art Moderne and London, where she showed works at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and also presented numerous solo exhibitions at galleries throughout Europe. She was permitted to move back to NY in 1959 where she lived and worked until the end of her life in 1968.

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Left hand page detail:

Nina Tryggvadottir

Abstraction (NT-OL-65-08) , 1965

Oil on linen

29.75 x 26.75” Framed size 36” x 33”

Copyright © Nina Tryggvadottir Estate

Right hand page:

Nina Tryggvadottir

Abstraction (NT-OL-65-08) , 1965

Oil on linen

29.75 x 26.75” Framed size 36” x 33”

Copyright © Nina Tryggvadottir Estate

Tryggvadottir has exhibited internationally and her work resides in numerous private and public collections throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States, including: the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, France; The National Gallery of Iceland; The Reykjavik Municipal Art Gallery, Iceland; and Musee D’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.

In the fall of 2021, the mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson and the daughter of artist Nína Tryggvadóttir – have signed an agreement for the establishment of the Nína Tryggvadóttir Art Museum. It will be the first art museum dedicated to a woman artist in Reykjavík. The Daughter has agreed to donate over a thousand pieces to the museum.

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Alcopley

Caught (ALC-OL-61/05) , 1961

Oil on linen

70 x 33” Framed size - 71.5 x 35.125 x 1.5”

Copyright © Alcopley Estate

ALCOPLEY (1919 – 1992)

Alcopley was born in Dresden, Germany in 1910 and exposed to vibrant avant-garde movements in his youth such as Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke. In1930 he attended medical school, interested in pursuing psychoanalysis, and then received his MD from the University of Heidelberg in 1935. It was here that Alcopley witnessed the rise of Hitler and the intolerance of intellectual pursuit, leading him to join the resistance and begin smuggling books out of the city. In 1936, on the verge of arrest, he fled Germany for Switzerland where he received his second MD and befriended many of the Dadaists. The following year Alcopley left for the United States and subsequently began pursuing his artistic career on equal ground as his scientific one, exhibiting his paintings for the first time. In 1942 Alcopley became part of the group of artists known as the New York School and later was a co-founder of The Club, a venue for weekly debates and discussions about art, frequented by critic Clement Greenberg and director of MoMA, Alfred H. Barr. In 1951 he exhibited in the historic Ninth Street Show, hung by Leo Castelli, alongside Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Franz Kline. After marrying the Icelandic painter Nina Tryggvadottir, the two lived in both Paris and London before returning to New York in the 1960s.

Alcopley’s work resides in prestigious collections internationally, such as: Museum of Modern Art, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Musee d’Art ed d’Industrie, Saint-Etienne; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden; National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

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Left hand page detail:

Alcopley

Beyond Space (ALC-AC-89/01) , 1989

Acrylic on canvas

68.125 x 40.125” Framed size - 69.25 x 41.25 x 1.5”

Copyright © Alcopley Estate

Left hand page detail: Alcopley

Beyond Space (ALC-AC-89/01) , 1989

Acrylic on canvas

68.125 x 40.125” Framed size - 69.25 x 41.25 x 1.5”

Copyright © Alcopley Estate

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Howard Daum

Untitled, 1965

Oil on canvas

20 x 24 x 1.5” Framed 22” x 25.75” x 2”

Copyright © Howard Daum Estate

HOWARD DAUM (1918-1988)

Howard Daum often painted from his rooftop overlooking 14th Street and Union Square. With his background in abstraction, he used the shapes, configurations and diamond-like light of the city as the primary image of his art.

Daum wrote, “The basis of the style deals with negative shape and positive shape as one.” His aim was to penetrate structure and formal organization. In his paintings, Daum distilled the cacophony of New York – the shifting perspectives, street lights, signs, architectural structure – into a pulsating evocation of the City.

In the mid 1940’s, Daum was part of a loose confederation of artists known as the Indian Space Painter Group who were inspired by the luminous ideographs of Native American and pre-Columbian art and their use of flat all-positive space. The group included: Steve Wheeler, Peter Busa, Robert Barrell, and Will Barnet. These painters and this movement paralleled Abstract Expressionism.

In a kaleidoscope universe, Daum sought to capture images that shift between figure and ground, creating multiple ways of reading.

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Copyright © Matsumi Kanemitsu Estate

MATSUMI KANEMITSU (1922- 1992)

“In his late years Mike saw his painting as a metaphor- equal and opposite- of the poetry, grandeur, tranquility, and life-threatening violent potential in the force of nature. He could not help agreeing with his friend, Jackson Pollock, that when he was IN his painting, working in a trance like state, he was nature itself.”

“To me, I want my work to be like life- everything that is different or opposite to be in balance, like yin and yang, negative and positive, day and night. I want to be just like sunshine, like moon.”

The son of Japanese immigrants, Matsumi Kanemitsu was born in 1922 in Ogden, Utah, but spent his childhood with his grandparents in Hiroshima, Japan. He moved back to the United States in 1940 and joined the U.S. Army in 1941, but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor soon led to his arrest and confinement in detention camps.

Devastating as that experience must have been, Kanemitsu began drawing with art supplies provided by the American Red Cross and eventually made his way to Europe as a military hospital assistant. After his tour of duty ended in 1946, he stayed in Europe for two years, studying with Fernand Leger in Paris, meeting other prominent artists, including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, and visiting art museums.

Kanemitsu returned to the United States in 1949 and plunged into New York’s postwar art scene, famously populated by artists such as Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, John Chamberlain, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and dealer Leo Castelli. But as a student of Japanese painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League, he also kept in touch with his cultural heritage.

In the early 1960s, apparently ready for a change of scene, Kanemitsu moved to Los Angeles, which became his final home. His first major accomplishment was a suite of prints that translated sumi painting techniques into lithography. The project was funded by a 1961 Ford Foundation grant to work at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop-- founded by artist June Wayne—and was documented in the film “Four Stones for Kanemitsu.”

With extraordinary skill and versatility, Kanemitsu also became a teacher, at Chouinard Art Institute from 1965 to 1970 and at Otis Art Institute from 1971 to 1983. Nicknamed “Mike” by his friend, painter Jackson Pollock, Kanemitsu is often identified as a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, but his artistic legacy is bicultural, embracing Japanese ink painting traditions as well as American Abstract Expressionism and Pop art.

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Matsumi Kanemitsu Pacific Series #23 , 1981 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 48”

Left hand page detail:

Nancy Genn

Celestial Space 10 , 1968

Oil on canvas

76 x 47.5”

Copyright © Nancy Genn

Right hand page:

Nancy Genn

Celestial Space 10 , 1968

Oil on canvas

76 x 47.5”

Copyright © Nancy Genn

NANCY GENN (born 1929)

Nancy Genn (1929), a California artist whose artworks have been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally, lives and works in Berkeley. She studied at the California School of Fine Arts (now The San Francisco Art Institute) and the University of California, Berkeley between 1947 and 1949. In 1978 she was awarded the prestigious United States/Japan Creative Arts Fellowship that allowed her to travel and lecture about her pioneering techniques in Japan. In the 1980s she received wide recognition for her experiments with paper, exhibiting with Robert Rauschenberg and Sam Francis in the US and in Asia (New American Paperworks, 1982-83). She was invited several times as visiting artist to Rome by the American Academy, also Turin by ICAR (International Center of Aesthetic Research), Venice by the Cini Foundation (2019) for an exhibition at Ca’ Pesaro and recently to Todi (2020), to participate in the first Festival of Arts as a tribute to Beverly Pepper. Significant retrospectives of her artworks include Planes of Light (2003) at the Fresno Art Museum, CA, and Architecture from Within (2018) at Palazzo Ferro Fini, Venice.

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Nancy Genn

Seascape 2 , 1958

Oil on paper

28 x 40”

Copyright © Nancy Genn

Right hand page:

Nancy Genn

Seascape 2 , 1958

Oil on paper

28 x 40”

Copyright © Nancy Genn

Nancy Genn’s Artworks In Selected Museum Collections:

Achenbauch Foundation, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

American Craft Museum, New York, NY

Auckland Museum, Aukland, New Zealand

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA

Fondazione Georgio Cini, Venice, Italy

Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN

International Center of Aesthetic Research, Italy

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Los Angeles County Museum, CA

Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Museo di Ca’ Pesaro, Venice, Italy

Museum of Modern Art Jacksonville, Florida

National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

The New York Public Library, New York, NY

New York University Art Collection, NY

The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA

Palazzo Ferro Fini, Venice, Italy

Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

San Francisco Museum of Art, CA

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Southwest State University Art Museum, Marshall, MN

University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley

University of Texas, El Paso, TX

Weisman Art Museum, U of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, Cullowhee, NC

Solo Exhibitions in Museums:

M. H. De Young Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA

Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA

The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA

Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art, LA, CA

Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA

Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago/The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Los Angeles, CA

Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA

Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA

American Assoc. for Advancement of Science, Washington DC Cowell College Gallery, UCSC

Museo di Ca’ Pesaro, Galleria Internazionale d’ Arte Moderna, Venice, Italy

Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA

University of California, Santa Cruz, Cowell College

Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica Center for the Arts, Pacifica, CA

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Left hand page detail:

Left hand page detail:

Joan Thorne

Stypo, 1973

Oil on canvas

70 x 30”

Copyright © Joan Thorne

Right hand page:

Joan Thorne Stypo, 1973

Oil on canvas

70 x 30”

Copyright © Joan Thorne

JOAN THORNE (born 1943)

Joan Thorne received a B.S. degree from New York University with a major in painting in 1965. Then earned an M.A. degree in 1968 from Hunter College, completing her thesis with Tony Smith which was a series of paintings.

In 1972 her work was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial Exhibition. Several solo exhibitions followed: 1973 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; 1974 the Fischbach Gallery in New York City; 1977 the Art Fair in Cologne, Germany; 1979 The Clocktower in New York City in May. In 1979 she received a National Endowment Grant and invited to join the Willard Gallery in New York City with a debut exhibition in 1980. Barbara Rose included Thorne in the exhibition American Painting: The 80s, at the Grey Art Gallery in New York University, which was reviewed by Hilton Kramer for the Sunday Edition of the New York Times. A solo exhibition with the Dart Gallery in Chicago followed and paintings at the Grand Palais in Paris in a group exhibition organized by the Société des Artistes Indépendants.

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Left hand page detail:

Joan Thorne

Start , 1975

Oil, paper, rabbit skin glue ground

41.5 x 29.5 x 1”

Copyright © Joan Thorne

Right hand page:

Joan Thorne

Start , 1975

Oil, paper, rabbit skin glue ground

41.5 x 29.5 x 1”

Copyright © Joan Thorne

In 1981 Thorne’s works were included in another edition of the Whitney Museum’s Biennial Exhibition. In 1982, a solo show at the Willard Gallery and a drawing show at the Nina Freudenheim Gallery in Buffalo, New York. In 1983 she had a solo show at the Dart Gallery in Chicago; John, Yau wrote an article that was published in Arts Magazine; and received a National Endowment Grant in Painting. In 1985 she had a one-person exhibition at the Graham Modern Gallery in New York with a catalog and essay by John Yau. Stephen Westfall wrote about her work in Art in America Magazine in December 1985.

The American Academy of Arts And Letters selected Thorne to participate in the “Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts” in 2020. In 2021 she had a four-decade retrospective at the Barry Art Museum in Norfolk VA with a 54 page catalog and essay by Richard Vine the Managing Editor of Art In America Magazine. Another essay was written by Vittorio Colaizzi, art historian.

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Zara , 1976

Oil on paper

Copyright © Joan Thorne

Zara , 1976

Oil on paper

39.5 x 31.5 x 1”

Copyright © Joan Thorne

Thorne was a recipient of the Prix de Rome Fellowship to paint at the American Academy in Rome, the Pollock Krasner Grant for painting (twice) and the Gottlieb Grant among others.

Thorne’s artworks are in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, Albright Knox Gallery of Art in Buffalo, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas and the Cincinnati Art Museum Cincinnati, Ohio, Barry Art Museum, Norfolk, VA among others.

Left hand page detail: Joan Thorne
39.5 x 31.5 x 1”
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Right hand page: Joan Thorne

Left hand page detail:

Beate Wheeler

Untitled (BW-5213) , 1971

Oil on canvas

20 x 26” Framed size 20.5” x 26.5”

Signed verso Dated verso

Copyright © Beate Wheeler Estate

BEATE WHEELER (1932 - 2017)

Right hand page:

Beate Wheeler

Untitled (BW-5213) , 1971

Oil on canvas

20 x 26” Framed size 20.5” x 26.5”

Signed verso Dated verso

Copyright © Beate Wheeler Estate

Beate Wheeler, born in Germany in 1932, fled with her family in 1938 and arrived at Ellis Island in New York. She studied at Manumit in Pawling, New York until 1945, an experimental Christian socialist boarding school for refugee children. After receiving her BFA degree at Syracuse in 1954, Wheeler earned her MFA at the University of California, Berkeley under Abstract Expressionist painter, Milton Resnick. While in the Bay area, she met Mark di Suvero and the two moved to the East Village in New York. Together with Robert Beauchamp, Elaine de Kooning and Patricia Passlof, they formed the March Gallery, one of the eight galleries and artist cooperatives that were known as the 10th Street Galleries.

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Left hand page detail:

Beate Wheeler

Untitled (BW-5303) , 1980s

Oil on canvas

50 x 40” Framed size 50.5” x 40.5”

Copyright © Beate Wheeler Estate

Right hand page:

Beate Wheeler

Untitled (BW-5303) , 1980s

Oil on canvas

50 x 40” Framed size 50.5” x 40.5”

Copyright © Beate Wheeler Estate

Wheeler married the writer and artist Spencer Holst. They were some of the early residents at the Westbeth Artists Housing in New York’s West Village. Wheeler lived and worked there the rest of her life. She painted regularly and produced drawings and artworks for Spencer’s publications. She exhibited primarily at the Wesbeth galleries and had many dedicated private collectors, including Nelson A. Rockefeller. Following a 15-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, she passed away May 14, 2017.

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Left hand page detail:

Martha Szabo

Homage To Motherhood , 1990

Oil on canvas

38 x 28”

Copyright © Martha Szabo Estate

MARTHA SZABO (1928 - 2023)

Right hand page:

Martha Szabo

Homage To Motherhood , 1990

Oil on canvas

38 x 28”

Copyright © Martha Szabo Estate

Born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1928, a New Yorker since 1957, Martha Szabo has consistently pursued a distinctive, painterly abstraction of the urban skyline. The unique POV of her 21st-floor studio afforded the artist sweeping views of a city in transition over many decades, notably the rapid development of the 1970s. These changes, subtle or dramatic, she recorded on canvas with oil paint, in a unique modernist style that merges abstraction with tribal forms. Her substantial body of work is proof of Szabo’s commitment to the city she has observed and documented for 50+ years. Displaying a conceptual depth rarely seen in cityscapes, the paintings reference architecture, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, geology. Towering silhouettes reminiscent of Pre-Columbian culture (or Picasso’s African Period, and the haloed figures of medieval illuminated manuscripts) dominate the foreground of these highly personal vistas, as rectilinear structures yield to the biomorphic ones that Szabo calls “the souls of transformed buildings celebrating.” In “Tectonics,” formidable structures appear displaced as the very foundations of the city meet a powerful force from below ground.

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Left hand page detail:

Martha Szabo

Untitled (MS22) , 1975

Copyright © Martha Szabo Estate

Right hand page: Martha Szabo

Untitled (MS22) , 1975

Copyright © Martha Szabo Estate

Her sun-drenched studio for an observatory, Szabo’s brush captured skyscrapers-in-progress making their upward climb, while low-rise buildings, their days numbered, remained standing with undemolishable dignity. Predating the “Manhattanhenge” phenomenon by several decades, her paintings convey the splendor of urban sunrises and sunsets. From her South by Southwest coordinates, through blizzards and blackouts, Szabo recorded breathtaking urban tableaux.

Surviving World War II, Martha came of age in Budapest, part of the Hungarian Avant Garde’s second wave. Two years after earning her MFA from the University of Fine Arts, she immigrated to America with her archaeologist husband; the couple became naturalized citizens in 1957 (he later became a noted art historian and curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Among the couple’s friends and elder fellow-expats were the brilliant polymath filmmaker-anthropologist Paul Fejos, and the artist Emory Ladanyi, MD.

A longtime member of the Art Students League, Martha Szabo attended master classes in 1989-90 with Hananiah Harari, one of the founders of American Abstract Artists (1936) and a onetime student of Fernand Leger.

Oil on linen 22 x 28”
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Oil on linen 22 x 28”

Ronnie Landfield

Irresistible Force , 1999

Acrylic on canvas

57 x 58”

Copyright © Ronnie Landfield

RONNIE LANDFIELD (Born 1947)

Since 1969, Ronnie Landfield has had more than seventy solo exhibitions of his paintings, including twenty-eight in New York City. In 2007–2008, he had a retrospective exhibition exploring five decades of his paintings at the Butler Institute of American Art. His paintings have been included in group exhibitions worldwide, in such places as Beijing, Manila, Havana, Paris, Cologne, Munich, Sapporo, and Gubbio and Udine, Italy. His work has been seen in three Whitney Museum Biennials and hundreds of group shows, including those at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, the André Emmerich Gallery, and the Leo Castelli Gallery. His paintings are represented in public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Gallery, the Seattle Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Bavarian State Museum in Munich, the Federal Reserve Board, the U.S. State Department, Charles Schwab, Mobil, GE, ARCO, Prudential Insurance, Chase Manhattan, New York University, and Stanford University.

Mr. Landfield explains his beginnings: “Perhaps it all changed for me when I was 15 one Sunday morning in early August in 1962. I was sitting by the pool where I was the lifeguard, and the word spread that Marilyn Monroe had died the night before. I packed my art supplies and my bathing suit, quit my job in the hotel in Woodridge, New York, and enrolled at the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York. By sundown Monday, I was studying with Arnold Blanch and working nights at the Café Espresso on Tinker Street. That summer, I met Allan Kaprow, Eva Hesse, Gahan Wilson, Herman Cherry, and many other exciting young artists.’’

In 1969, he was awarded a William and Norma Copley Foundation (Cassandra) Grant for Painting. In 1995 and 2001, he was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for Painting. Mr. Landfield taught fine arts at the School of Visual Arts from 1975 to 1989, and was a guest instructor at Bennington College in 1968. He has taught at the Art Students League of New York since 1994.

Courtesy The Art Students League

https://www.artstudentsleague.org/instructors/ronnie-landfield

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Left hand page detail:

George Hofmann

Blue In, 2008

Acrylic on linen

40 x 32”

Copyright © George Hofmann

Right hand page:

George Hofmann

Blue In, 2008

Acrylic on linen

40 x 32”

Copyright © George Hofmann

GEORGE HOFMANN (born 1938)

George Hofmann was born in Jamaica, NY in 1938. He studied at The High School of Music and Art, New York, NY from 1952 to 1956 with a year (1955) at the Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He then studied at Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Nuremberg, Germany from 1958 to 1962. After returning to the US, he taught at C. W. Post College, Long Island University and was an Artist in Residence from 1963 to 1966, then at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY from 1967 to 1968 followed by an Instructor in1969 at Yale University Summer School, Norfolk, CT. Most of his career was teaching at Hunter College, NY alongside other illustrious and important faculty, including Sanford Wurmfeld, Robert Swain, Doug Ohlson and Ray Parker, among others. Hofmann is passionate about art history and its influence on his painting and other artist’s works and writes thoughtful and challenging essays on contemporary painting. Hofmann’s artworks are included in the permanent collections of the Albany Institute of History and Art, NY, Boston Public Library, MA, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA and W. Virginia University, Morgantown, as well as numerous corporate and private collections.

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Copyright © George Hofmann

Copyright © George Hofmann

Left hand page detail: George Hofmann Flame , 2009 Acrylic on linen x 44”
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Right hand page: George Hofmann Flame , 2009 Acrylic on linen 52 x 44”

Left hand page detail:

Willem de Looper

Ten Years (WD0117-WDL-004) , 1968

Acrylic on canvas 68 x 48”

Copyright © Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation for the Arts.

Right hand page:

Willem de Looper

Ten Years (WD0117-WDL-004) , 1968

Acrylic on canvas 68 x 48”

Copyright © Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation for the Arts.

WILLEM DE LOOPER (1932 - 2009)

Willem de Looper was born and raised in the Netherlands. Always influenced by American culture, he moved to the US in the 1950s and followed his brother to Washington, D.C. where he studied art at the American University. He had a lengthy career at the Phillips Collection from 1959 through 1987 when he retired as the chief curator. While working at the Phillips Collection he pursued a vigorous and productive painting career in parallel with steady representation by notable Washington, D.C. galleries, including: Jefferson Place Gallery, Max Protech Gallery, B.R. Kornblatt Gallery and Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman Gallery. De Looper’s artworks have been exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Kansas City, Augusta, GA as well as Paris, France and Hamburg, Germany. His artworks have been exhibited in several museums in the Washington, D.C. area, including: the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Phillips Collection, and Baltimore Museum of Art. De Looper has had several retrospective exhibitions at the Federal Reserve in 1978, Maryland University Museum in 1996, the Phillips Collection in 2002 and the American University Museum in 2008.

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Selected Public Collections:

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Baltimore Museum of Art

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kreeger Museum

Morris Museum of Art

National Museum of American Art

National Gallery of Art

Phillips Collection

All Artwork Copyright © Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation for the Arts, Courtesy David Richard Gallery.

Left hand page detail: Willem de Looper Stretto (WD0442) , ca 1972 Acrylic on canvas 72 x 60”
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Copyright © Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation for the Arts. Right hand page: Willem de Looper Stretto (WD0442) , ca 1972 Acrylic on canvas 72 x 60” Copyright © Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation for the Arts.
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