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Alma Thomas (1891–1978), "Phantasmagoria," 1973, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 inches / 152.4 x 127 cm, signed

Postwar Abstract Painting: “Art is a language in itself”

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery / November 19, 2022 - January 21, 2023


Postwar Abstract Painting: “Art is a language in itself” features a rich selection of works by some of the most eminent artists working in abstraction in the decades following World War II. This group exhibition explores the era’s remarkable proliferation of approaches to non-representational imagery. Exemplary paintings from a range of movements as diverse as the artists themselves comprise a vibrant survey of abstract art in the United States, offering a scintillating visual conversation on the reciprocal histories of abstract art in the second half of the 20th century. 

The title of the exhibition is drawn from a statement by Norman Lewis (1909–1979) first published in 1950: “Art to me is the expression of unconscious experiences common to all men, which have been strained through the artist’s own peculiar associations and use of his medium. In this sense, it becomes an activity of discovery...not only for the artist but for those who view his work. Art is a language in itself, embodying purely visual symbols which cannot properly be translated into words, musical notes, or, in the case of painting, three-dimensional objects...”

Featured artists include Charles Alston, Norman Bluhm, Ilya Bolotowsky, James Brooks, Giorgio Cavallon, Jay DeFeo, Beauford Delaney, Burgoyne Diller, Claire Falkenstein, Perle Fine, Fritz Glarner, Michael Goldberg, Hans Hofmann, Norman Lewis, Conrad Marca-Relli, Robert Motherwell, Alfonso Ossorio, Richard Pousette-Dart, Milton Resnick, Theodoros Stamos, Alma Thomas, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente, William T. Williams, and Hale Woodruff.

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