Moving to Abstraction February 1 - March 12, 2017 Quidey & Company - Naples, FL
presented by Quidley & Company and Banks Gallery
Moving to Abstraction February 1 - March 12, 2017 Quidey & Company 375 Broad Ave South Naples, FL 34102 239-261-4300
As the world recovered from the devastation of WWII American artists embraced abstraction. The world had shifted in dramatic and unforeseen ways and the artists followed. This exhibition looks at at artists from across United States. Non representational Abstraction was not just a regional movement, artists in New York, Washington DC, Saint Louis, and California were creating works based on gestural mark making, expressive color, and a sense of immediacy.
Norman Bluhm American, (1921-1999)
Norman Bluhm 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. He was able to move his art forward while being a stalwart steward of its past. 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. Born in Chicago’s South Side 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. Norman Bluhm died at his home in East Wallingford, Vermont on February 3, 1999.
Norman Bluhm Red Harvest, 1961 Oil on board 26 x 27 inches Signed and dated at lower left; titled verso 5
Lynne Mapp Drexler American, (1928-1999)
Lynne Drexler began making landscape paintings at the age of eight, and later pursued training under Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell. Drexler, who loved both representational landscape painting and Abstract Expressionism/gene/abstract-expressionism, produced works that married her two interests. While her work always demonstrated an emphasis on color and composition, Drexler’s mature style is often described as a synthesis of Post-Impressionist landscape and abstraction. She became known for a style that layered small, repetitive brush marks in vivid colors across large areas of canvas. Drexler considered herself a colorist above all, and employed color to “heighten optical energy.” She was an admirer of Henri Matisse, though she also drew inspiration from classical music and opera; in the 1970s Drexler made hundreds of works based on musical pieces, in particular Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Lynne Mapp Drexler Raw Land, 1961 Oil on canvas 81 x 60 inches Signed, titled and dated verso 7
Jack Roth, who exhibited in one of the first major exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism alongside Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, considered himself a Color Field Painter, though he also actively pursued interests in chemistry, mathematics, and poetry. During his time at California School of Fine Arts, Roth studied with Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Richard Diebenkorn. His paintings are recognizable for thin contour lines and soft forms, in addition to an expressive use of color; though these works did not often contain imagery, they were sometimes based on landscapes and images. Roth also made more figural and image-based mixed-media assemblages in shadow-box frames, and included collage elements in some of his paintings.
Jack Roth Dance to the Music of Spring, Montclair #35, 1981 Acrylic on canvas 52 x 70 inches Signed, titled, and dated verso 9
Jack Roth Untitled, 1976 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 69 inches Signed and dated â€˜76 verso 10
Jack Roth Untitled, 1 976 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 69 inches Signed and dated â€˜76 verso 11
John Wehmer American, (b.1927)
John Wehmer has spent his entire career is St. Louis and was fortunate to attend Washington University at a golden moment for both the city and contemporary art. In 1946, after service in the U.S. Navy, Wehmer began his art studies in earnest at the University of Missouri in Columbia with Fred Shane. A year later, searching for a more progressive program he returned to St. Louis and found a home at Wash U. amidst an incredible faculty that included over time Philip Guston, Max Beckmann, Paul Burlin, Carl Holty and Werner Drewes among others. The canvases and woodblock prints that Wehmer was able to produce in this period of the 1950s and early 60s — far from the avant-garde in New York — are both remarkably beautiful and astoundingly original. St. Louis had a thriving contemporary art scene in the 1950s, sort of a Gotham in Fly-Over land. Both the St. Louis Art Museum and the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City supported contemporary artists with exhibitions and awards. In St. Louis wealthy collectors such as Morton May and Joseph Pulitzer Jr. bought work by local painters. In 1965 a cooperative art gallery called the Painter’s Gallery (of which Wehmer was a founding member) opened and became the scene of many elegant exhibitions and receptions. At some point in the 1960s Wehmer became disillusioned with the commercial gallery scene and put these canvases away, where they remained out of sight for over forty years until an art dealer approached Wehmer in 2012 about showing this work again and after much initial resistance, was able to convince him to bring the paintings out and into the critical light.
John Wehmer Sudden Storm at McGaheysville, 1962 oil on canvas (triptych) 72 x 96 inches Signed, titled, and dated verso 13
Leon Berkowitz American, (1919-1987)
Leon Berkowitz was born in Philadelphia but is best known as a Washington painter, having lived there for forty years. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Art Students League in New York, as well as internationally in Paris, Florence, and Mexico City. He served in the Army during World War II and was stationed in Virginia. After completing his service in 1945, he moved to Washington, D.C. He painted and taught art in D.C. high schools for over ten years and in 1969, moved on to teach at The Corcoran Gallery’s School of Art, where he was chairman of the painting department. He continued to teach there until his death in 1987. Berkowitz’s first wife was the poet Ira Fox Berkowitz. Together they founded the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts in 1945. This center became a cultural catalyst, bringing together prominent artists in both the preforming and visual arts, including Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Gene Davis. These artists would later found the Washington Color School group. The center closed in 1956, and Leon and Ira spent the next decade traveling and living abroad. During this time his painting took a new direction, and it is this later work for which he is most well known. Berkowitz’s work had become completely abstract by the 1970s, suffused with mists of light and color. He was often associated with the Color School painters, though he adamantly denied this connection, instead asserting that his floating washes of color carried light, and through this light, a spiritual presence. The intense white ground used as a primer for his canvases does indeed create a color-drenched, luminous, atmospheric effect. Berkowitz described his goal in painting as “endeavoring to find that blush of light over light and the color within the light; the depths through which we see when we look into color and not at color.”
Leon Berkowitz Duality #21, 1971 Oil on canvas 54 x 52 inches 15
Leon Berkowitz Winged II, 1965 Oil on canvas 53 1/2 x 76 inches 16
Sam Francis in Studio
Sam Francis was one of the leading American abstract painters and printmakers of the 20th century. Francis left the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 due to spinal tuberculosis. Francis took up painting as a hobby during that time. He decided to make this a serious undertaking studying under David Park in 1947 and completed his BA and MA at the University of California. His use of space on the canvas to allow free circulation of strong color and light developed his style by the time his studies had ended. He was greatly influenced by Abstract Expressionism, particularly the works of Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock. Francis moved to Paris in 1950 where he met Jean-Paul Riopelle who was to remain an important influence. The study of Monet’s Waterlilies had a profound impact on his work. His artistic development was affected by his exposure to French modern painting and Asian culture, particularly Zen Buddhism. He spent the 1950s in Paris, having his first exhibition there at the Galerie Nina Dausset in 1952. While in Paris he became associated with Tachisme, and had his work championed by art critics Michel Tapié and Claude Duthuit (son-in-law of Henri Matisse). From a very muted palette, he returned to the qualities of light and color. He continued to develop the use of white space and increased the dimensions of his paintings for greater emphasis. During this period in Europe he executed a number of monumental mural paintings. He later became loosely associated with a second generation of abstract expressionists, including Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler, who were increasingly interested in the expressive use of color. Francis returned to California in 1962 and was then influenced by the West Coast School’s preoccupation with mysticism and Eastern philosophy. Blue had become a more dominant feature of his work since 1959 inspired by personal suffering and the great joy of becoming a father for the first time in 1961. This led to combinations of hard color and more disciplined structures with centrally placed rectangles during the 1970s. Eventually these more rigid structures gave way to looser configurations sometimes of snake-like forms with web-like patterns. Francis painted large murals for the Kunsthalle, Basel in 1956-8 and for the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York in 1959. Paintings by Sam Francis can be found in international museum collections including those of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Kunstmuseum Basel, the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, and the Centre Pompidou-Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Since his death in 1994 he has been thesubject of over 90 solo exhibitions.
Sam Francis Untitled, 1981 Monotype with woodcut - oil ink and powdered pigment on handmade paper 30 1/2 x 25 1/16 inches Signed lower right, inscribed verso
Cleve Gray was born in New York City in 1918. He attended the Ethical Culture School from 1924 to 1932 and from the age of 11 to 14 he studied art under Antonia Nell, who had herself been a student of the American realist painter George Bellows. Gray then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts for three years, where he studied painting with Bartlett Hayes. He won the Samuel F.B. Morse Prize for most promising art student while at Phillips. He graduated from Princeton University in 1940 with a degree in Art and Archeology. After graduation, he moved to Tucson Arizona and exhibited his landscapes and still lifes at the Alfred Messer Studio Gallery. Gray returned to New York City in 1942 and joined the United States Army. During World War II he served in France, Britain, and Germany. He sketched wartime destruction during his time as a soldier. After the liberation of Paris, he was the first American GI to greet Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso. He continued to study art in Paris after the war, and trained with French artists Jacques Villon and Andre Lhote. After returning to the United States in 1946, Gray began to exhibit his work at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris. He had his first solo show at the Jacques Seligmann Gallery in New York in 1947. Gray moved into his parentsâ€™ old house in Warren, Connecticut in 1949, and lived there until his death in 2004. He married the author Francine du Plessix in 1957. They each had studios on the property, separated by a driveway. During the 1960s, after becoming friends with Barnett Newman, Gray was able to move on from his French inspirations and develop his own style, which he continued to experiment in for the last 42 years of his life. Grayâ€™s paintings are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many other notable institutions. The art critic Karin Wilkin curated a retrospective of his work at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in 2009.
Cleve Gray Considering All Possible Worlds #24, 1992 Acrylic on canvas 42 1/8 x 70 inches Signed, dated â€˜92 and titled verso 21
Feinstein’s paintings have a brilliance about them that emanates from his dynamic use of color. His work is lyrical and robust, and almost sculptural in some cases, with his use of thick layers of paint. Hans Hofmann said, about Feinstein, in 1952, “Mr. Feinstein is a highly gifted and versatile artist with a pronounced standing of his own...and with a deep understanding of the plastic problems in painting.” Sam Feinstein was born in Russia in 1915, and emigrated through Ellis Island with his parents when he was five years old. Raised in Philadelphia, he attended art school in his hometown, at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. He graduated in1936 with honors, and later returned as a professor. During WWII, Feinstein served in the US army as an artist, and there expanded his range of media to include filmmaking. After the war, while teaching at Pratt Institute, he became an art and animation director for documentary films. Like many of the other major abstract expressionist painters during this time, Feinstein studied with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown. The two had a unique relationship, which led to the creation of the documentary “Hans Hofmann”,co-written by Hofmann himself, and filmed, edited and produced by Feinstein. It was shown in conjunction with Hofmann’s work, and two of Feinstein’s drawings, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1999. When Hofmann ended his incredible career as a teacher, he approached Feinstein about continuing his legacy. Sam, however, had already begun his own career, and was teaching painting workshops in New York, Philadelphia, Princeton, Toronto, and Cape Cod. He taught for over 50 years. Though he exhibited in New York, Philadelphia and Provincetown in the 1930s through the 1950s, he withdrew from commercial art practice to paint and teach privately for the rest of his life.
Sam Feinstein Untitled, 1950s oil on canvas 50 x 38 inches Estate stamped verso 23
Vivian Springford American, (1914-2003)
Vivian Springford, an artist best known for her “Black Paintings” of the 1950s-early 60s, and later, her vivid stained color field paintings, is having a second coming. The reclusive painter began as a portraitist before being sucked into the orbit of the New York School. She later became close friends and studio-mates with the Asian artist Walasse Ting, while helping him to translate his poetry. Through Ting, Springford met, and became close friends with such artists as Pierre Alechinsky, Sam Francis, and Karel Appel. The confluence of these various inspirations is apparent in her work. Ting introduced her to Asian art and philosophy, which had an enormous influence on Springford, as evident in the delicate, calligraphic feel in her scribblings. These early “black paintings” are filled with movement and expressiveness, but also seem referential. They seem to not only relate to personal, immediate experience, but also to allude to age-old symbols and philosophies. Springford’s stain paintings are expansive, and often seem to blossom out from one central point on the canvas, radiating into translucence. They’re scale is ambiguous--they feel both cosmic and microscopic at the same time. The varying densities of color make them feel as if they are pushing outward and evolvingeven as you stand in front of them. Springford’s layers and structures, be they celestial or cellular, are light and ethereal but are also grounded in the physical patterns of the universe or the human body. There is a quiet dynamism in Springford’s work that is undeniable, and an impressive use of color that manages to create depth without weight. Springford was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended the Spence School in New York City. Her artistic education came predominantly from the Art Students League. The infamous art critic Harold Rosenberg helped Springford get her first show in 1960 at the Great Jones Gallery in New York. After the 1960s, Springford became quite private with her work, and only participated in a few group exhibitions, despite her prior success. Later in her life, she suffered from macular degeneration, which left her legally blind by the mid 1980s. Living in a small New York midtown hotel, she was rediscovered when asocial worker introduced her body of work to a New York art gallery owner, who began exhibiting her paintings in 1998. 24
Vivian Springford Untitled Acrylic on canvas 60 1/4 x 60 inches Signed verso 25
John Little had multi-disciplinary outlets in the arts, having run a successful textile design company and been a student of operatic singing. Little, who attended the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and worked under George Grosz at the Art Students League, began to seriously paint abstraction after studying with Hans Hofmann, through whom he also became a close friend of Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock. While Little’s early style had a linear quality inspired by Surrealist automatism, his later works featured thick impasto and gestural brushstrokes. He explained: “I was trying to get away from the drawing, letting form and color carry the idea rather than the line.” Though known best for painting, Little also made mixed-media collages and sculptures from driftwood and debris; the latter appeared in Hans Namuth’s 1955 film Image of the Sea.
John Little Langrenus, 1968 Oil on canvas 54 x 50 inches Signed and dated â€˜68 lower left 27
Kyle Morris was an influential part of the New York abstract expressionists during their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. Early on, he was very much affiliated with the Stable Gallery, having his first solo exhibition there in 1955, and subsequently organizing the “Vanguard 1955 Show of 21 American Painters.” He went on to have numerous exhibitions at the Kootz Gallery, whose roster at the time included such greats as Hans Hofmann, Conrad Marca-Relli, James Brooks, Giorgio Cavallon, and Ray Parker. Morris was born in Des Moines Iowa, and went on to study painting at the Chicago Art Institute, as well as the prestigious hive of the Cranbrook Academy Art. His career in painting had a brief hiatus while he served in the Air Force during World War II, but upon his return, he took up teaching and painting again; holding teaching positions all over the country. These included Stephens College in Missouri, University of Texas in Austin, University of Minneapolis in Minnesota, and Columbia University in New York City. Morris eventually moved to New York City, and finally out to East Hampton in 1974, where he lived out his days. Though his early work was romantic and figurative, he slowly moved into abstraction, becoming fascinated with compositions of blocks of color. This style slowly gave way to the type of paintings that he was best known for; in these, the forms flow diagonally across the canvases, or obscure the entire surface, almost becoming a color field, as if Morris sliced up memories, or prior imagery, and tried to reassemble the shards. Figures still seem to have a kind of presence, even if not readily apparent in form. His work and teaching had an enormous influence on the “New York School.”
Kyle Morris Untitled, 1960 Oil on canvas 62 1/2 x 48 inches Signed and dated Kyle Morris â€˜60 lower left Signed 20.July.â€™60/Kyle Morris/6 verso
Edward Dugmore American, (1915-1996)
Art was in Edward Dugmore’s blood, as the son of an early English photographer. His father worked in factories and was in the National Guard, but photography was his passion. From an early age, Dugmore would observe his father’s process, and began his own form of expression through drawing, watercolor and poetry, all before his teenage years. With enormous encouragement from his mother, Dugmore began his artistic education in his hometown, at the Hartford Art School. He then went on to study at the Kansas City Art Institute, under Thomas Hart Benton before serving in the Marine Corps during World War II. After the war, Dugmore studied with Clyfford Still at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco. The two became close friends, and Edward was deeply influenced by Still’s work. His final round of formal education was in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he earned his M.A. degree. Howard Wise Gallery in Cleveland, was the first to exhibit Dugmore’s work in 1960. Subsequently, two solo shows in New York in 1961 and 1963 kicked off his success, and he became a prominent figure in a diverse array of galleries and venues, including a long time relationship with the Stable Gallery, who also held solo shows for the likes of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana early in their careers. His first exhibition at Stable was in 1953. Dugmore’s paintings are luminescent. The brooding landscapes evoke at once a primal natural topography, as well as being reminiscent of something distinctly human, and aging, like a peeling wall in a beloved childhood home. It is both spontaneous, and thoughtful, with deep considerations of color. Dugmore ground his own pigments and mixed his own paint for most of his career. Midway through his career, Dugmore received a Guggenheim Fellowship, in 1966, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976 and 1985. He received an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980, and towards the end of his life, in 1995, Dugmore was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Ingram Merrill Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. Dugmore’s work is featured in permanent collections including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery of Buffalo, New York, the Menil Collection in Houston, TX, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Hirschorn Musem and Sculpture Garden. 30
Edward Dugmore Metart Series #15, 1949 Oil on canvas 48 5/8 x 39 1/2 inches Signed and dated â€˜49 at lower right 31
Donald Sultan American, (b.1951)
Donald Sultan is a contemporary painter best known for his use of industrial materials to depict everyday subjects. He signature rich black pigment results from the use of tar. Sultan uses tar in many of his paintings, and his work manifests itself in the media of paint, printing, and sculpting subjects like lemons and flowers. His still-lives have been described as studies in contrast. Powerfully sensual objects are rendered through a labor-intensive and unique method. Instead of canvas, Sultan works with vinyl floor tiles. Sultan cuts the shapes he desires into the vinyl, fills in the cutout space with plaster and or tar, and then paints over. The layers he builds create the texture and subsequent richness. Although his paintings fit into the criteria of a still life, Sultan considers his work to be preeminently abstract. Sultan’s work incorporates basic geometric and organic forms. His images are weighty, with equal emphasis on both negative and positive areas. Sultan describes his work as “heavy structure, holding fragile meaning”. His work is always concerned, at one level or another, with recognizable imagery. The artist has been quoted as saying “Basically I think I am a Minimalist. But I keep trying to add as much stuff as I can and still keep the sense.” His works have been collected and shown by leading galleries and museums around the world, and his international one-artist exhibitions include shows in Barcelona, Budapest, Dusseldorf, London, Nagoya, Paris, Rome, Tokyo and Zurich. He has been a Visiting Artist at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Sultan received his BFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to New York in 1975, where he lives and works. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his artistic achievements.
Donald Sultan November 1 1977, 1977 Tar on paper on board in artistâ€™s frame 52 7/8 x 41 7/8 inches Initialed at upper left and dated â€˜Nov 1 1977 33
Conrad Marca-Relli American, (1913-2000)
Conrad Marca-Relli, a member of the New York School’s first generation, was a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. He is most celebrated for his large-scale collages, composed of pieces of canvas or natural linen overpainted with gestural brushstrokes. In 1967, William Agee, then curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, praised Marca-Relli’s work, claiming that his “achievement has been to raise collage to a scale and complexity equal to that of monumental painting.” Born in Boston in 1913 to Italian immigrant parents, Marca-Relli was a primarily self-taught artist and an inveterate traveler who bridged the American and European art worlds. During the Depression, Marca-Relli, like many American artists, supported himself by working for the Works Progress Administration, first as a teacher and then with the easel and mural painting divisions of the Federal Art Project. At this time, he came into contact with progressive artists, including Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and John Graham, who exposed him to modernist artistic trends. After serving in the army during World War II, Marca-Relli returned to New York and to painting primarily in surrealist then abstract styles. On a trip to Mexico in 1952, Marca-Relli radically altered his artistic practice focusing on collage. The fluidity of the collage process enabled him to change his creation constantly, working out visual problems quickly and fluidly. As he mastered this technique, he made more complex and dynamic pictures with abstracted references to figures, architecture, landscape, and eventually non-objective works. In the 1960s he continued to explore his interest in abstraction and began experimenting with new materials, including metals and synthetic plastics.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Marca-Relli was actively involved in the avant-garde art world in Greenwich Village. He helped to found the “Eighth Street Club,” an artists’ group whose members included de Kooning, Kline, and Jack Tworkov, and art dealer Leo Castelli who assembled the “Ninth Street Show,”arguably the first comprehensive display of Abstract Expressionist work. At this time, he achieved much success, and his paintings entered the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Conrad Marca-Relli Untitled, 1993 Mixed media collage on canvas 48 x 53 inches 35
Richard Diebenkorn American, (1922-1993)
A highly influential mid-century American artist, Richard Diebenkorn is known for his abstract landscape paintings, in particular the “Ocean Park” series, which he exhibited when representing America at the 1978 Venice Biennale. Diebenkorn’s work is often highly gestural and layered, his use of the medium comparable to that of contemporaries like the Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning, an artist he greatly admired. Diebenkorn, however, preferred California to the competitive New York art scene, and became a leading artist among the Bay Area Figurative painters. Even at its most abstract, Diebenkorn’s work remains rooted in the outside world, and he is celebrated for capturing his surroundings on canvas without representing them literally. Moving between New Mexico, Illinois, and, ultimately, California, his work progresses in tune with the changing architecture and landscape. Diebenkorn also painted portraits, expertly combining figurative and abstract styles in the same picture.
Richard Diebenkorn Spreading Spade, 1981 Color spit bite aquatint and drypoint Sheet: 36 1/2 x 30 3/4 inches Plate: 17 7/8 x 19 inches Framed: 39 3/4 x 34 inches Edition AP Initialed, dated 81 and inscribed AP in pencil
Helen Frankenthaler American, (1928-2011)
A second-generation Abstract Expressionist painter, Helen Frankenthaler became active in the New York School of the 1950s, initially influenced by artists like Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock. She was included in the 1964 Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition curated by Clement Greenberg that introduced a newer generation of abstract painting that came to be known as Color Field. She gained fame with her invention of the color-stain technique—applying thin washes of paint to unprimed canvas—in her iconic Mountains and Sea (1952), a motivating work for Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and other Color Field painters who emerged in the ’60s. Her own canvases, however, often evoked elements of landscape or figuration in the shaping of their forms. “My pictures are full of climates, abstract climates,” she once said. “They’re not nature per se, but a feeling.” From 1958 to 1971, she was married to fellow Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell, who, like Frankenthaler, worked in symbolic painted gestures—only her paintings were almost always visibly improvised from start to finish. As poet and critic Frank O’Hara wrote in 1960, “she is willing to risk everything on inspiration.” In addition to painting, Frankenthaler also made ceramics, welded steel sculptures, and set designs, but the related medium that most attracted her, and in which her achievement came the closest painting, was printmaking—especially the creation of woodcuts, hers counting among the greatest of contemporary works in that medium. Her work has been the subject of several retrospective exhibitions, including a 1989 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and been exhibited worldwide since the 1950s. In 2001, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Helen Frankenthaler Blue Current, 1987 Aquatint with etching and lithography on Rives BFK mould-made paper Sheet: 30 1/2 x 37 1/2 inches Framed: 39 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches Edition 34 of 52 signed, dated, and numbered in pencil 39
Helen Frankenthaler Eve, 1995
Color screenprint on wove paper Sheet: 44 x 29 7/8 inches Framed: 52 3/4 x 38 3/4 inches Edition 29 of 108 Signed twice and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Helen Frankenthaler Skywriting, 1997 Color screenprint Sheet: 30 1/8 x 40 1/8 inches Framed: 36 1/4 x 44 /18 inches Edition 13 of 110 Signed and numbered in pencil, lower left.
Adolph Gottlieb American, (1903-1974)
Growing up during the Depression and maturing throughout the interwar period and the rise of Hitler, American painter Adolph Gottlieb staunchly defended the art of the avant-garde -Abstract Expressionism in particular -- for its ability to express authentic feeling in the face of the trauma of World War II. The themes of Gottliebâ€™s paintings over the course of more than three decades still help us come to terms with both the difficulties -- such as evil, war, violence, and ignorance -- that we as humans encounter, as well as moments of the sublime aspiration and realization. Recognized as one of the originators of Abstract Expressionism, painter Adolph Gottlieb drew on mythological and tribal symbols as well as Surrealism to create works that emphatically broke with American Regionalism. Gottliebâ€™s pictographs possessed primitivist qualities, featuring shapes evocative of cave drawings. His later paintings, such as the well-known Brink from 1959, often employed circular motifs and thick, gestural brushstrokes, which were an integral part of the development of Color Field painting.
Adolph Gottlieb Imaginary Landscape II, 1971 Aquatint printed in colors on wove paper Sheet: 30 1/2 x 34 inches Plate: 18 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches Framed: 38 x 33 3/4 incehs Edition 13 of 55 Signed, dated, numbered in pencil
Artist Index Page
Leon Berkowitz (American, 1919-1987), p.14 Norman Bluhm (American, 1921-1999), p.4 Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993), p.36 Lynne Mapp Drexler (American, 1928-1999), p.6 Edward Dugmore (American, 1915-1996), p.30 Sam Feinstein (American, 1915-2003), p.22 Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994), p.18 Helen Frankenthaler ( American, 1928-2011), p.38 Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974), p.42 Cleve Gray (American, 1918-2004), p.20 John Little (Canadian, 1907-1984), p.26 Conrad Marca-Relli (American, 1913-2000), p.34 Kyle Morris (American, 1918-1979), p.28 Jack Roth (American, 1927-2004), p.8 Vivian Springford (American, 1914-2003), p.24 Donald Sultan (American, b.1951), p.32 John Wehmer (American, b.1927), p.12