These are not paintings in the usual sense; they are life and death merging in fearful union.
The painting is just a surface to be covered. . . . My paintings have to do with feeling, yet it’s pretentious to say they’re about feelings, too, because if you don’t get it across, it’s nothing.
Works in the exhibition explore the range of direct, individualized gestures and dominating physicality that became the distinguishing characteristics of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Critically championed by Clement Greenberg, by the early 1950s Abstract Expressionist art was firmly established as the dominant movement in American art of the post–World War II era, marking the emergence as an equal counterpart in the United States to the new tendencies in modern European painting.
Influenced by their experiences during the interwar years that were marked by the detrimental effects of the Great Depression and World War II, the New York–based Abstract Expressionists viewed the world as emotionally barren and militated against political and social hegemony. This preoccupation with the human condition and the metaphysical became absorbed in their aim to build a new visual language, predicated on the immediacy of abstract forms, the monumental canvas, and the primacy of color. The many permutations of these principles can be seen in a work like Sam Francis’s meditative Red Over Gray (1953). From 1957, Adolph Gottlieb simplified his iconic pictographic canvas in later works to make way for the “bursts” in Antipodes (1959), where luminous circular forms levitate above gestural eruptions, evoking a primitive, even cataclysmic, view of life.
Jenny Saville on Willem de Kooning
In 2013, the exhibition Willem de Kooning: Ten Paintings, 1983–1985 explored the legendary artist’s late work. For the catalogue accompanying the presentation, Jenny Saville spoke on the gestures and elemental elegance of these paintings.
In Foil Adventures: John Chamberlain’s Late Works in Aluminum, Corinna Thierolf discusses how, starting in the mid-1960s, the artist investigated and perfected working with this material.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2018
The Spring 2018 Gagosian Quarterly with a cover by Ed Ruscha is now available for order.
Patrick Seguin: Chamberlain and Prouvé
Two twentieth-century heavyweights collide in a show of works by John Chamberlain and Jean Prouvé in New York. Derek Blasberg talks to Patrick Seguin about Prouvé and design on the occasion of the exhibition.
On the Eve of Never Leaving
November 1, 2019–January 11, 2020
Nathaniel Mary Quinn
Hollow and Cut
September 11–October 19, 2019
Desert Painters of Australia Part II
With Works from the Collection of Steve Martin and Anne Stringfield
July 26–September 6, 2019
February 21–April 13, 2019