PAINTERLY ABSTRACTION Spheres of AbEx
MARY ABBOTT KAREL APPEL NORMAN BLUHM WARREN BRANDT LYNNE MAPP DREXLER FRIEDEL DZUBAS LOUISE FISHMAN SAM FRANCIS JOHN GRILLO MICHAEL GOLDBERG HANS HOFMANN PAUL JENKINS WILLEM de KOONING JOHN LITTLE MICHAEL LOEW ROBERT NATKIN LARRY POONS MILTON RESNICK ROBERT RICHENBURG JACK ROTH MICHAEL CORINNE WEST
PAINTERLY ABSTRACTION Spheres of AbEx
MARY ABBOTT (b. 1921) was raised in New York and Washington, D. C. In the early 1940s, Abbott’s early interest in art led her to courses at the Art Students League where she worked with painters such as George Grosz. In 1948, she met the sculptor David Hare, who introduced her to an experimental school called The Subject of the Artist, an “anti-school” anyone could join if they left their academic artistic past behind them. Started by Hare, Rothko, Motherwell and Barnett Newman, they became her mentors and she moved into the heart of the New York avante-garde. Also, Abbott became a member of the Club, where she was one of three female members along with Perle Fine and Elaine de Kooning. In the early 1950s, she began to exhibit extensively and participated in three of the famous Stable Gallery annuals that promoted Abstract Expressionism.
Signed lower right Mary Abbott Oil and oil stick on paper mounted to canvas 23 x 29 inches Painted circa 1951
Signed and dated lower right M. Abbott â€˜54 Oil and oil stick on paper mounted to canvas 18 x 24 inches Painted in 1954
Signed lower right M A; signed and titled on verso M. Abbott, Presence Oil on canvas 46 x 87 inches
Signed lower right A. Oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches
KAREL APPEL (1921-2006) was a Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet. He started painting at the age of fourteen and studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the 1940s. He was one of the founders of the avantgarde movement Cobra in 1948. He was influenced by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and the French Art Brut artist Jean Dubuffet. In breaking with his Amsterdam youth, Appel distanced himself from the Cobra group and became part of a group of artists known as Art Informel. Centered on Michel TapiĂŠ, the group included artists such as Henri Michaux, Willem de Kooning, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jackson Pollock and Sam Francis.
Signed lower right Appel Acrylic on canvas 48 x 60 inches Painted circa 1975
Signed and dated lower right Appel â€˜73 Acrylic on canvas 19 x 30 1/2 inches Painted in 1973
NORMAN BLUHM (1921-1999) embraced abstraction and propelled it forward, blending figurative elements, eroticism and calligraphic agility to arrive at a sensibility all his own. His work was informed less by movements and orthodoxies than by his own exceptional biography and his rich knowledge of, and respect for, the history of art. Bluhm was justifiably secure enough in his talent and training to honor Europe and the history of art without compromising his identity as an American painter. Bluhm initially studied the Bauhaus approach to architecture while also spending his spare time learning to fly. After the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, Bluhm became a B-Pilot and flew 44 missions over North Africa and Europe before getting wounded and sent home. After the war he decided to discard his career as an architect and moved to Paris where he attended art classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiére and Ecole des Beaux Arts. In 1956, he returned to New York and began a lifelong, successful career as an Abstract Expressionist painter. He was part of a vibrant and glamorous “movement,” socializing with a handful of art-world titans and collaborating with the curator and poet Frank O’Hara to create a legendary collection of “Poem Paintings.” An important figure in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, Bluhm enjoyed substantial critical success during his lifetime. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art. However, he found greater solace in painting than in fame or academic theorizing about art. Gradually he moved farther and farther from New York, eventually settling in a still corner of rural Vermont. Bluhm was enthralled with painting itself not fame or public relations. For him the studio was the center of the art universe and whether in Paris, New York, or Vermont he allowed himself to be led by its constant demands.
Signed and dated lower left Bluhm â€˜61 Oil on paper mounted on board 29 1/4 x 35 3/4 inches Painted in 1961
Signed and dated lower left Bluhm â€˜61 Watercolor and ink on paper 29 3/4 x 22 inches Painted in 1961
Signed and dated lower right Bluhm â€˜62 Oil and ink on paper laid down on canvas 24 x 19 3/4 inches Painted in 1962
Signed lower left Bluhm Oil on canvas 96 x 72 1/4 inches Painted in 1967
WARREN BRANDT (1918-2002) was born in Greensboro, N.C., and moved to New York after high school, attending Pratt Institute. He studied with Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League and, later worked as an official portraitist in the Army during World War II. Brandt studied with Philip Guston and Max Beckmann at Washington University in St. Louis, while maintaining connections with Abstract Expressionists in New York, consequently Brandtâ€™s paintings reflected their influence. He traveled extensively in the 1950s, throughout Europe and from New York to North Carolina and Mississippi, where Brandt was teaching. In 1960 Brandt moved to New York and made a radical change in his art, developing a distinctive painting style in nudes, still lifes and scenes from his studio.
Rock Island Blind
Signed and dated lower right Warren Brandt â€˜62 Oil on canvas 72 x 80 inches Painted in 1962
LYNNE MAPP DREXLER (1928-1999) began her study of art as a child, painting landscapes by the tender age of eight. In the late 1950s, after attending the College of William and Mary in Virginia, she immersed herself in Abstract Expressionism, studying with Hans Hofmann in both his New York and Provincetown schools. Later, she went on to graduate study at Hunter College in New York City with Robert Motherwell. In the early works Drexler focused on color and composition, eventually reconciling her two interests—landscape and abstraction—in her late work of the 1980s and 1990s. But it was in the 1950s that she set her foundation—a synthesis of Post-Impressionist landscape painting and Post-war painterly abstraction. The results are something not familiar to most students of the period and her crisp, colorful brushwork allows the artist to sing with a completely original voice. When she lived in New York she regularly attended concerts at Carnegie Hall where she would make sketches while she was in the audience. Classical music remained an important part of her art. Her vibrant surfaces are both complex and painterly but with a flatness akin to something found in the background of a Gustav Klimt work. Drexler lived the last 16 years of her life on Monhegan Island with her husband, the painter John Hultberg. Drexler exhibited extensively throughout her life at venues such as Tanager Gallery, Esther Robles Gallery and Westerly Gallery. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Monhegan Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the Queens Museum among others.
LYNNE MAPP DREXLER
Blue Horse - Red Rider
Signed, titled and dated verso Lynne Drexler, Blue Horse-Red Rider, 1957-58 Oil on canvas 58 x 61 inches Painted in 1957-58
Signed and dated verso L. Drexler â€˜60 Oil on canvas 23 1/2 x 27 inches Painted in 1960
Signed, titled and dated verso Lynne Drexler, Daffodil Glouchester, 1960 Oil on canvas 23 3/4 x 25 inches Painted in 1960
Signed and dated lower left L.D. 59 Oil on canvas 40 x 58 inches Painted in 1959
FRIEDEL DZUBAS (1915-1994) studied art in his native land before fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939 and settling in New York City. In Manhattan during the early 1950s, he shared a studio with fellow abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler. He began exhibiting his Abstract Expressionist paintings at this time. His work was included in the “Ninth Street Show” in New York City in 1951, and in group exhibitions at the Leo Castelli Gallery, the Stable Gallery, and the Tibor de Nagy Gallery among others. In the 1960s he became associated with Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction. He was included in “Post-Painterly Abstraction” a 1964 exhibition curated by Clement Greenberg. Dzubas was a friend of Greenberg, who in turn introduced him to Jackson Pollock and other artists. During the last three decades of his career, Dzubas had more than sixty solo exhibitions around the world. He was represented by the Andre Emmerich Gallery and Knoedler Contemporary Arts in New York for more than thirty years. In 1976 he settled in Massachusetts, but also painted and lived in New York City, where his paintings were regularly exhibited.
Signed and dated upper left Dzubas â€˜61 Oil on canvas 43 x 30 inches Painted in 1961
Red Flight Signed on verso Oil on canvas 68 1/2 x 91 1/2 inches Painted in 1957
LOUISE FISHMAN (b. 1939) is recognized as one of the best known American abstract painters of her generation. Originally, her painting style gave her some trouble in being recognized and she exhibited only occasionally in the 60s when she produced primarily grid based work. As the feminist movement gained strength in the 70s, Fishman abandoned the Minimalist-inspired grid paintings and began making work that reflected traditional women’s tasks. She returned later to the masculine realm of abstract painting and fought her way to distinguish her work from the male artists. The resulting compositions combine gestural brushwork with an orderly structure as if Fishman built or wove her paintings, starting from a foundation and carefully adding layer upon interlocking layer. Fishman’s abstractions, while not directly narrating her life, are rooted in her cultural, political and emotional experiences revealing Fishman’s unique version of Abstract Expressionism.
Casa Cenote Oil on canvas 58 x 76 inches Painted in 2000
SAM FRANCIS (1923-1994) was born in San Mateo, California, and studied botany, medicine and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He served in the United States Air Force during World War II before being injured in a plane crash. He was in the hospital for several years with spinal tuberculosis, and it was while there that he began to paint. Once out of the hospital he returned to Berkeley, this time to study art. Francis was initially influenced by the work of Abstract Expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky and Clyfford Still. He spent the 1950s in Paris, having his first exhibition there in 1952. While there he became associated with Tachisme. He later spent time in Japan, and some have seen an influence from Zen Buddhism in his work. Francis spent some time in Paris executing entirely monochromatic works, but his mature pieces are generally large oil paintings with splashed or splattered areas of bright contrasting color. Areas of white canvas are often left to show through, and in later works, paint is sometimes confined to the edges of the canvas. Luminous and painterly, rather than gestural, his â€œsignatureâ€? paintings of the early 1950s are overlays of serial but asymmetrical biomorphic forms saturated with color. The mid 50s saw Francis include fields of various sized clusters of cell-like shapes usually in blue, yellow, and red on a white ground. Francis returned to California during the 1960s and continued painting in Los Angeles. During the final three decades of his career his style of large scale bright Abstract Expressionism was also closely associated with Color Field painting.
Untitled Signed on verso Watercolor on paper 40 3/4 x 27 1/2 inches Painted in 1967
Untitled (Black and White Composition) Signed on verso Acrylic on paper 23 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches Executed in 1988
JOHN GRILLO (b. 1917) was raised in the small industrial town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. The 1930’s brought the family to Hartford, Connecticut where as a child growing he watched his father paint and sculpt. John would frequent the Wadsworth Antheneum Museum in Hartford where the collection of portraits would inspire him to become a portrait painter. In 1935 he enrolled in the Hartford School of Fine Arts where he learned portrait and landscape painting. In 1948, Grillo attented the New York school of Hans Hofmann and also spent summers at Hofmann’s school in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In the 1950s, he experimented with symbolism and action painting and gridlike paintings consisting of small squares based on Hofmann’s teachings. In the 1960s, Grillo’s paintings evolved into a series of oversize canvases primarily in a luminous yellow range that to the critics evoked the power of light and sunshine. One artist called Grillo the Renoir of Abstract Expressionism, another compared him to Rubens for his sensuality. One critic brought up Turner, while another waxed eloquently about Venetian luminosity. Exhibitions of these works appeared at the Howard Wise Gallery and the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, both in New York. In the 1970s Grillo continued geometric paintings, this time on a larger scale in a constructivist manner. Before retiring from the University of Massachusetts in 1991, Grillo produced a large mural representing the agrarian and academic elements in the history of the town of Amherst, presided over by the illustrious native poet, Emily Dickinson.
Signed and dated lower left Grillo â€˜50 Gouache on paper 20 x 26 inches Painted in 1950
Signed and dated lower right JG â€˜52 Oil on canvas 24 x 22 inches Painted in 1952
MICHAEL GOLDBERG (1924-2007) began his artistic training at the Art Students League in New York (1938) and attended Hans Hofmann’s school (1941-1942) before interrupting his studies to serve as a paratrooper in the United States Army in North Africa, China, Burma, and India. After World War II, Goldberg resumed his classes with Hofmann. He became involved in the avant-garde New York art scene, meeting Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Milton Resnick among others. In 1951, Goldberg, under the name Michael Stuart, showed his paintings in the “Ninth Street Show.” The following year he moved to 28 East 2nd Street and joined the Club, gathering with other Abstract Expressionist painters to exchange artistic ideas. Around this time, he met the poet Frank O’Hara, who became a life-long friend and dedicated many poems to Goldberg. In addition, they collaborated on a project titled “Odes” in 1960. Goldberg maintained his connection with the Abstract Expressionist painters throughout the fifties and into the sixties. A second generation Abstract Expressionist artist, Michael Goldberg’s painting defies classification, having undergone numerous changes throughout his long and prolific career. He painted dynamic, gestural canvases; monochromatic, minimalist works; grids; calligraphic images; patterned or striped paintings, and he experimented with collage.
Winter Study #7
Signed lower right Goldberg Oil on board 11 x 14 inches Painted circa 1960
Landscape (On the way to New Lisbon, NY) Signed, titled and dated on verso Oil and paper collage on canvas 64 x 68 inches Painted in 1964
HANS HOFMANN (1880-1966) is one of the most important figures of post-war American art. German born, he played a pivotal role in the development of Abstract Expressionism as an influential teacher of generations of artists in both Germany and America. In 1930 Hofmann went to teach at the University of Berkeley and in 1932 settled in New York where he taught art at the Art Students League and later again opened his own schools in Manhattan and Provincetown, Mass. For eager young American artists constrained by the aftermath of WWII and the Depression, contact with Hofmann served as an invaluable connection with European Modernism. Noted art historian Clement Greenberg called Hofmann â€œin all probability the most important art teacher of our time.â€? His school remained a vital presence in the New York art world until 1958 when the then seventy-eight year old Hofmann decided to devote himself full-time to painting. Combining Cubist structure and intense Fauvist color, Hofmann created a highly personal visual language, continuously exploring pictorial structures, spatial illusion and chromatic relationships and creating volume through contrasts of color, shape and surface. Also a prominent writer on modern art, his push/pull theory is a culmination of many of his ideas and describes the plasticity of three-dimensionality translated into two-dimensionality. Due to a dazzling burst of creative energy when he was close to 70 years old, his most highly recognizable canvases are from the late 1950s and 1960s, paintings of stacked, overlapping and floating rectangles and clear, saturated hues that assured his reputation and cemented him as a key member of the Abstract Expressionists.
Signed and dated lower right Hofmann 1950 Oil on paper 14 x 17 inches Painted in 1950
PAUL JENKINS (b. 1923) was raised near Youngstown, Ohio. After later moving to New York, Jenkins became a student of Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League and became associated with the Abstract Expressionists. Jenkins work is influenced by his interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, the study of the I Ching, along with the writings of Carl Jung prompted Jenkinsâ€™ turn toward inward reflection and mysticism which have dominated his aesthetic as well as his life.
Phenomena Prism Wind Anvil Signed lower left Jenkins Oil on canvas 60 x 50 inches Painted in 1983
WILLEM de KOONING (1904-1997) was a Dutch American artist who was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In the post-World War II era, de Kooning painted in a style that came to be referred to as Abstract Expressionism and was part of a group of artists that came to be known as the New York School. The hallmark of de Kooningâ€™s style was an emphasis on complex figure ground ambiguity. Background figures would overlap other figures causing them to appear in the foreground, which in turn might be overlapped by dripping lines of paint thus positioning the area into the background. De Kooning had painted women regularly in the early 1940s and again from 1947 to 1949. The biomorphic shapes of his early abstractions were derived from objects found in the studio. But it was not until 1950 that he began to explore the subject of women exclusively. In the summer of that year he began Woman I, which went through innumerable metamorphoses before it was finished in 1952. From the late 1950s to the early 1960s, de Kooning entered a new phase of nearly pure abstractions more related to landscape than to the human figure. These paintings, such as Bolton Landing (1957) and Door to the River (1960) bear broad brushstrokes and calligraphic tendencies similar to works of his contemporary Franz Kline. In 1963, de Kooning moved permanently to East Hampton, Long Island, and returned to depicting women while also referencing the landscape in such paintings as Woman, Sag Harbor and Clam Diggers. He also turned to sculpture in later years, creating a number of works that were later cast in bronze.
WILLEM de KOONING
Signed lower left de Kooning Watercolor on paper 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches Painted in 1972
JOHN LITTLE (1907-1984) was born in Sanford, Alabama. He left home when only 14 to study art in Buffalo, NY, at the Fine Arts Academy. In 1933, Little enrolled at the Art Students League studying under George Grosz. Four years later, at the age of 30, he began studies with Hans Hofmann, both in New York and Provincetown. This marked his move towards abstraction and his serious engagement as a painter. After service in the Navy during WWII Little returned to New York, moving into Hofmann’s 8th Street Studio where his neighbors were Pollock and Krasner. This was a period of great experimentation influenced by Surrealist automatism, Picasso and Hofmann. In 1946, Little was given his first solo exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco with a follow up one-man show in 1948 at Betty Parsons’s New York gallery. In the 1950s, his painting became extremely gestural with aggressively applied, thick paint. He also began a series of experimental mixed-media assemblage works created from debris found on the beaches of Montauk. Hans Namuth documented these works in his 1955 film, “Image of the Sea.” In that same year Little had a two-man exhibition at Guild Hall with Pollock, and in 1957 he founded the Signa Gallery along with Alfonso Ossorio and Elizabeth Parker. Signa, which lasted for four years, mounted innovative exhibitions and became a highly important summertime venue showcasing the best of the New York art scene. In the 1960s Little’s abstract style evolved with a flattening of the paint layer and massed areas of color overlapping and interlocking in an endless variety of compositions.
Signed and dated lower left John Little 1951 Oil on canvas 43 1/2 x 70 3/4 inches Painted in 1951
Signed, titled and dated on verso Oil on canvas 46 x 60 inches Painted in 1974
MICHAEL LOEW (1907-1985) was one of the major proponents of Abstract Expressionism and influenced by the Neo-Plasticism of Mondrian. Despite their opposing approaches to abstraction, he became a longtime friend of Willem de Kooning, whom he met completing WPA projects during the 1930s. Although Loew began his Neo-Plasticist mode during the 1940s, it was the 50s that brought the full development of his mature style. After World War II, Loew studied with Hans Hofmann and cultivated his sensibility for color effects. He used the grid-structure of Mondrian as a base from which to experiment with the possibilities of the palette; to focus on subtle transitions of tone or harmony of color relationships. Drawing inspiration from life, he transformed subjects into unique patterns of rectangles or color fields, naming the final composition according to the dominant colors. He exhibited these works at the Stable Gallery annuals, beginning a full and successful exhibition career. In 1957, Loew participated in the International Association of Plastic Arts Touring Exhibition, Contemporary American Painting as juror and exhibitor. Here he exhibited alongside Milton Avery, Samuel Adler, Josef Albers, de Kooning, Reinhardt, Walkowitz and others. The same year he gained representation at Zabriskie Gallery, next to Johns, Motherwell, and Rauschenberg. A recognized pillar of American Modernism, Loew maintained an active teaching and exhibition schedule until his death in 1985.
Signed lower right Loew Oil on canvas 69 3/4 x 45 inches Painted in 1959
Space Forms, 1952, No. 7
Signed and dated lower right Loew 52 Pastel on paper 14 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches Executed in 1952
Untitled (Space Forms)
Signed and dated lower right Loew 54 Pastel on paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches Executed in 1954
Signed lower left Loew Oil on canvas 76 x 54 inches Painted in 1961
ROBERT NATKIN (1930-2010) was born in Chicago and graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1952. Natkinâ€™s art blends Abstract Expressionism with Post-Impressionist colors. His work often runs in series he created using columns, grids and shifting planes that include this early jazz oriented example titled Coltrane. These works, with vertical stripes alternating between thick and thin, decorative and textured, are cheerful and light, invoking a specific lyricism. His painting is inspired by the color used by Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, and the Cubism of Paul Klee. In 1959, Natkin joined a group of other artists from Chicago in an exodus to New York, where he began teaching and exhibiting his paintings.
Signed lower right Natkin Pastel on paper 17 x 22 inches Executed circa 1957
Signed lower right Natkin Mixed media on paper 24 x 24 inches Executed circa 1957
LARRY POONS (b. 1937) is an abstract painter whose early ambition after high school in 1955 was to study music. While attending music school, he began to take his painting more seriously. In 1959, he enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and also studied at the Art Students League of New York. He rose to prominence in the 1960s with paintings of circles and ovals on solid, often brilliantly colored, backgrounds. These paintings conveyed a sense of movement, and were categorized as Op Art. Although he exhibited with optical artists in 1965, by 1966 he had moved away from this style towards looser and more painterly abstract canvases. Poonsâ€™ work is associated with Op Art, Hardedge painting, Color Field painting, Lyrical Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism.
Signed and dated verso Larry Poons 1978 Acrylic on canvas 81 x 72 inches Painted in 1978
MILTON RESNICK (1917-2004) was born in Russia, and arrived in New York City in 1922 at age five. At age 14, he enrolled in the American Artists School in New York and with classmate Ad Reinhardt, the two shared a budding interest in abstraction. In 1948, Resnick returned to New York, enrolling in Hans Hofmann’s school. He also took a studio on East 8th Street, near Jackson Pollock, de Kooning, and Franz Kline. During the 1950s and 1960s, Resnick became noted for his paintings after exhibiting in the famous “Ninth Street Show” and was included in all five of the Stable Gallery annuals. Additionally, Resnick was a founding member of the Club, the Abstract Expressionist forum.
Signed and dated lower left Resnick 60 Oil on paper mounted on Masonite 83 1/2 x 53 inches Painted in 1960
ROBERT RICHENBURG (1917-2006) studied at the Corcoran Gallery and the Art Students League. Upon his return from the war in 1947, he settled in New York to study with Amedee Ozenfant and Hans Hofmann. He was then introduced to artists Ibram Lassaw and Willem de Kooning. In 1949 when the Club was formed, Richenburg was an active member. He showed in the â€œNinth Street Showâ€? and was included in three Stable Gallery annuals.
Signed lower right Richenburg Oil on canvas 15 1/8 x 18 inches Painted in 1951
Signed lower left Richenburg Oil on paper mounted to board 14 x 17 inches Painted in 1949
Signed and dated upper right Richenburg â€˜59 Oil on canvas stretched over panel 26 x 16 1/2 inches Painted in 1959
Signed and dated lower left Richenburg â€˜50 Oil on paper 15 x 18 inches Painted in 1950
JACK ROTH (1927-2004) was known as an Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painter. After studying with Mark Rothko at the California School of Fine Arts, he received a Masters degree in fine arts from the State University of Iowa in 1952, and a Doctorate degree in mathematics from Duke University in 1962. In 1979, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1982 he received a New Jersey Council on the Arts Award. He exhibited paintings in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum â€œYounger American Paintersâ€? (May 12 to July 25, 1954) - alongside William Baziotes, Morris Louis, Richard Diebenkorn, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and others. This was one of the first major exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism at an American art museum.
Untitled (Rope Dancer series) Signed lower center R 80 Acrylic on canvas 18 x 30 inches Painted in 1980
Untitled (Dance to the Music of Spring) Signed and dated verso Roth â€˜81 Acrylic on canvas 18 x 22 inches Painted in 1981
New Synthesis #35
Signed and dated verso Roth â€˜81 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 40 inches Painted in 1981
Rope Dancer 8 - For Man Ray
Signed lower left Roth 80 Acrylic on canvas 50 x 67 inches Painted in 1980
MICHAEL CORRINE WEST (1908-1991) was born in Chicago and spent most of her formative years in Ohio. She enrolled in the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1925, after opting for a career in the fine arts. West moved to New York in 1932, continuing her art education in 1933 at the Art Students League. West was a member of Hans Hofmann’s first class at the League and he remained a lasting influence on her art. Hofmann’s emphasis on the “inner eye,” the ability to apprehend the essence of things, guided the artist in her spiritual approach to abstraction. West developed a romantic relationship with the artist Arshile Gorky who introduced her to European Surrealism, an important source for her work. In 1946, West became active in the burgeoning post-war art culture of New York City later marrying the avant-garde filmmaker and photographer Francis Lee. Through Lee, West made the acquaintance of fellow artist Jackson Pollock, with whom she shared an emphasis on the painterly process as well as the assertion of the spiritual nature within the language of abstraction.
MICHAEL CORRINE WEST
Signed, titled and dated on verso Oil on canvas 74 1/2 x 48 inches Painted in 1979
Signed and dated lower left Michael West 1963 Oil on canvas 89 x 48 inches Painted in 1963
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