AB-EX / RE-CON Abstract Expressionism Reconsidered
Joseph Fiori Untitled, 1954 Oil on canvas 20 x 34 inches Private Collection, Roslyn, New York
Adolph Gottlieb Percussive Pictograph, 1955 Oil on canvas 72 X 35 3/4 inches Sandy Gross Collection
Artists of the Abstract Expressionist school rejected the mass cultural values which were being formulated in America at mid-century, searching for alternatives to the consumer and advertising culture that had become prevalent in post-World War II America.
AB-EX / RE-CON: Abstract Expressionism Reconsidered, opening at Nassau County Museum of Art on March 9 and remaining on view through June 16, explores both the best known and less familiar practitioners of abstract and gestural painting who dominated American art, criticism and commentary during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s Included in the exhibition are works by the stars of Abstract Expressionism, among them Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. The exhibition also offers viewers the excitement of discovering some of the lesser-known but highly-regarded artists of the movement, among them Fritz Bultman and Jon Schueler. Bultman, a member of the inner circle of Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock and a close associate of Motherwell and Hofmann, is the topic of The Last Irascible, a talk presented at the museum on May 5 by the noted art writer Charles A. Riley II, Ph.D. Schueler, the subject of Jon Schueler: A Life in Painting, a 28-minute film being screened four times a day throughout the exhibition, was influenced by Clyfford Still (his teacher) and Milton Avery, and became a part of the New York School of artists.
Three focused installations included in AB-EX / RE-CON are devoted to Abstract Expressionists working today: Judith Godwin in New York City, Stan Brodsky on Long Island, and Rita Rogers in Rhode Island. On April 27, independent curator Kenneth Wayne, Ph.D. presents a talk on Stan Brodsky.
The museum is offering several other programs in conjunction with the exhibition in addition to The Last Irascible, Jon Schueler: A Life in Painting and Dr. Wayne’s talk on Stan Brodsky. A 20-minute film, Abstract Expressionism, is being screened four times a day throughout the exhibition. Three Brown Bag lectures are offered, April 11, May 9 and June 6, in which Museum Docent Riva Ettus presents a 1 p.m. talk on the exhibition, followed by a 2 p.m. public tour. The films, the Brown Bag talks, and daily exhibition tours are free with museum admission on a first come, first served basis. For details on these and other events offered in conjunction with AB-EX / RE-CON, visit the museum’s website, nassaumuseum.org/events.
Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m.; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Tours are free with museum admission. Family art activities and family tours are offered Sundays from 1 pm; free with museum admission. Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about group tours. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students and children (4 to12). Members are admitted free. Parking is free weekdays, $2 on weekends (members, free). The Museum Store is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (516) 484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.
Nassau County Museum of Art, governed by a privately elected Board of Trustees, is chartered and accredited by New York State as a not-for-profit, private educational institution. The museum’s programs and exhibitions are made possible through the support of Nassau County under County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Nassau County Legislature, as well as memberships, admissions, special events, private and corporate donations, and government and foundation grants.