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Abstract Expressionism

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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | October 20, 1995
The history of 20th century art can seem much too complicated and difficult to follow, with its confusing succession of isms: Cubism, futurism, surrealism, expressionism, etc. What's this all about, anyway?Well, there's no better way to understand art than to look at it, and the Baltimore Museum of Art is now offering an excellent opportunity to follow visually the art of the century's first half. Two new shows containing prints, drawings and photographs take us from the dawn of cubism to the threshold of abstract expressionism; those who want to cross the threshold need only visit the museum's modern wing to see how abstract expressionism developed from what went before it."
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | June 15, 2004
A wonderful Norman Rockwell illustration from the mid-1950s suggests just how strange abstract-impressionism once must have seemed. It depicts a perplexed gent standing in front of a painting covered with mad scrawls and doodles - obviously Rockwell's tongue-in-cheek caricature of a Jackson Pollock. Because the illustration appeared on the cover of the old Saturday Evening Post, there was no caption, nor need for one. It was a pure sight gag, and Rockwell could confidently assume the magazine's readers would put themselves in the place of his bewildered businessman, marveling at the incomprehensible turn taken by art's avant-garde.
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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Art Critic | August 15, 1993
What: "Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955-1962"Where: Whitney Museum of American Art, Madison Avenue and 75th Street, New YorkWhen: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, through Oct. 10Admission: $6 adults; $5 students and seniors$ Call: (212) 570-3676New York -- Stylistically and philosophically, there could not be much more difference between any two art movements than there is between the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s and pop art, which succeeded it in the 1960s.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 9, 2003
The paintings of Milton Avery are a must-see for anyone who figures that America's full-fledged entry into art's modern age came via the abstract expressionists of the 1940s and 1950s. The process actually began a generation or so earlier with Avery's works. "His paintings were psychologically riveting in the way they left realism behind," explains Hydee Schaller, director of the Mitchell Gallery on the campus of St. John's College in Annapolis, where 28 of the artist's portraits, landscapes and still lifes are on display through Feb. 22. "He was a precursor to abstract expressionism, and a very important influence on 20th- century American art."
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,Sun Art Critic | October 28, 2001
Grace Hartigan, one of Baltimore's most distinguished painters, has been the subject of no less than three important exhibitions this month, at C. Grimaldis Gallery on Charles Street, at the ACA Galleries in New York City and at the Neuberger Museum of Art at the State University of New York in Purchase. Hartigan, who made her reputation in New York during the 1950s as a member of the abstract expressionist movement, moved to Baltimore in the 1960s and has been living and working here ever since.
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | December 6, 2002
Whenever I begin to doubt the future of painted pictures, along comes a show that renews my faith in the medium's continuing vitality. Just Paint, a group show of three Baltimore artists at Maryland Art Place, is a ringing endorsement of the art of painting in the contemporary era. In the work of Carolyn Case, Dan Randall and Gerald Ross, curator Patrick Burns has brought together a group of artists linked by a direct approach to putting paint on canvas...
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By Mike Giuliano and Mike Giuliano,Special to The Evening Sun | March 14, 1991
A new name to reckon with on the Baltimore art scene i Spanish artist Salvador Bru, who is having his first local exhibit at the C. Grimaldis Gallery's Morton Street location. Not much contemporary Spanish art is shown in our area, so there should be plenty of curiosity in this case.Bru has lived for a long time in the United States and often exhibited in this country and in Europe. He now lives in Washington and keeps a studio in Baltimore.Looking at his new work takes one back to the surrealism-tinged abstract expressionism of the 1940s.
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | June 15, 2004
A wonderful Norman Rockwell illustration from the mid-1950s suggests just how strange abstract-impressionism once must have seemed. It depicts a perplexed gent standing in front of a painting covered with mad scrawls and doodles - obviously Rockwell's tongue-in-cheek caricature of a Jackson Pollock. Because the illustration appeared on the cover of the old Saturday Evening Post, there was no caption, nor need for one. It was a pure sight gag, and Rockwell could confidently assume the magazine's readers would put themselves in the place of his bewildered businessman, marveling at the incomprehensible turn taken by art's avant-garde.
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By Daniel Grant | April 18, 1993
JASPER JOHNS: 35 YEARS WITH LEO CASTELLI.Edited by Susan Brundage.Harry N. Abrams.100 pages. $35. The last 35 years have been quite good for Jasper Johns, an artist who gained immediate renown in 1958 with his first exhibition of paintings of American flags and targets at New York City's Leo Castelli Gallery.The show was good for both artist and dealer, in fact, as it helped to establish Castelli as a dealer to watch.But Johns was an artist who dared to move away from the strict canons of abstract expressionism (that art is about its own materials, shapes, colors, volumes and processes)
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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Art Critic | October 27, 1992
Brice Marden has been called a romantic and a minimalist. He himself traces his roots to abstract expressionism, and some of his imagery can be related to classical architecture, seascape, phases of the moon. If a visit to the retrospective of his prints at the Baltimore Museum of Art reveals that there's something in all of those assessments, it also reveals that there's more in some than in others.At first glance the work of the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s certainly looks minimalist; there are grids that look like graph paper, there are squares or broad stripes of black and white.
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | December 6, 2002
Whenever I begin to doubt the future of painted pictures, along comes a show that renews my faith in the medium's continuing vitality. Just Paint, a group show of three Baltimore artists at Maryland Art Place, is a ringing endorsement of the art of painting in the contemporary era. In the work of Carolyn Case, Dan Randall and Gerald Ross, curator Patrick Burns has brought together a group of artists linked by a direct approach to putting paint on canvas...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,Sun Art Critic | October 28, 2001
Grace Hartigan, one of Baltimore's most distinguished painters, has been the subject of no less than three important exhibitions this month, at C. Grimaldis Gallery on Charles Street, at the ACA Galleries in New York City and at the Neuberger Museum of Art at the State University of New York in Purchase. Hartigan, who made her reputation in New York during the 1950s as a member of the abstract expressionist movement, moved to Baltimore in the 1960s and has been living and working here ever since.
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | August 14, 2000
Vivian and John Hewitt, who over a span of half a century assembled one of the most important collections of African-American art in the country, were people of modest means but broad vision who dedicated their lives to preserving the visual heritage of black people. The magnificent fruits are now available for the public to share in "Celebration and Vision: The Hewitt Collection of African-American Art," a not-to-be-missed exhibit that opened yesterday at the Howard University Art Gallery in Washington and runs through Oct. 14. Among the nearly 60 works by 20 artists in the collection are such familiar names as Henry O. Tanner, Hale A. Woodruff, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Jacob Lawrence as well as lesser-known artists like Ernest Chrichlow, Ronald Joseph and Jonathan Green.
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By JOHN DORSERY and JOHN DORSERY,SUN ART CRITIC | May 26, 1998
Mark Rothko, who suffered from depression and eventually killed himself, thought that art should be tragic. So it may seem strange to call him an artist of beauty and joy.But in the Rothko retrospective now at Washington's National Gallery, one can revel in his luscious colors, bask in the warmth of his seductive reds and yellows, enjoy the breeze that seems to waft from his cool blues and greens, be dazzled by his brilliant whites and melt into his welcoming...
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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | October 27, 1996
NEW YORK -- Imagine it's 1910, and you have a chance to see mammoth exhibits covering the careers of Renoir and Monet, two of the most important artists alive. That's the kind of opportunity that awaits us right now in New York.Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly are two of the acknowledged giants of American art in the second half of the 20th century, and we can see both of them, whole, at the same time.At the Museum of Modern Art, we can probe the luscious surfaces of Johns' art for the truths contained within.
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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | October 20, 1995
The history of 20th century art can seem much too complicated and difficult to follow, with its confusing succession of isms: Cubism, futurism, surrealism, expressionism, etc. What's this all about, anyway?Well, there's no better way to understand art than to look at it, and the Baltimore Museum of Art is now offering an excellent opportunity to follow visually the art of the century's first half. Two new shows containing prints, drawings and photographs take us from the dawn of cubism to the threshold of abstract expressionism; those who want to cross the threshold need only visit the museum's modern wing to see how abstract expressionism developed from what went before it."
FEATURES
By JOHN DORSERY and JOHN DORSERY,SUN ART CRITIC | May 26, 1998
Mark Rothko, who suffered from depression and eventually killed himself, thought that art should be tragic. So it may seem strange to call him an artist of beauty and joy.But in the Rothko retrospective now at Washington's National Gallery, one can revel in his luscious colors, bask in the warmth of his seductive reds and yellows, enjoy the breeze that seems to waft from his cool blues and greens, be dazzled by his brilliant whites and melt into his welcoming...
NEWS
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | October 27, 1996
NEW YORK -- Imagine it's 1910, and you have a chance to see mammoth exhibits covering the careers of Renoir and Monet, two of the most important artists alive. That's the kind of opportunity that awaits us right now in New York.Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly are two of the acknowledged giants of American art in the second half of the 20th century, and we can see both of them, whole, at the same time.At the Museum of Modern Art, we can probe the luscious surfaces of Johns' art for the truths contained within.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Art Critic | August 15, 1993
What: "Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955-1962"Where: Whitney Museum of American Art, Madison Avenue and 75th Street, New YorkWhen: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, through Oct. 10Admission: $6 adults; $5 students and seniors$ Call: (212) 570-3676New York -- Stylistically and philosophically, there could not be much more difference between any two art movements than there is between the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s and pop art, which succeeded it in the 1960s.
NEWS
By Daniel Grant | April 18, 1993
JASPER JOHNS: 35 YEARS WITH LEO CASTELLI.Edited by Susan Brundage.Harry N. Abrams.100 pages. $35. The last 35 years have been quite good for Jasper Johns, an artist who gained immediate renown in 1958 with his first exhibition of paintings of American flags and targets at New York City's Leo Castelli Gallery.The show was good for both artist and dealer, in fact, as it helped to establish Castelli as a dealer to watch.But Johns was an artist who dared to move away from the strict canons of abstract expressionism (that art is about its own materials, shapes, colors, volumes and processes)
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