Exhibition Details


Location: Mabel A. Woodyard Gallery for American Art
Dates: September 7, 2019
to June 20, 2021

American Abstraction during the Thirties and Forties 

American abstract painting flourished in the period between the Depression and World War II despite ongoing competition with European artists. Many of the leading American painters had studied in Europe during the early part of the century while others came to maturity at home in the thirties. Founded in 1936, the American Abstract Artists (AAA) was a group dedicated to exhibiting and promoting non-representational art in New York City. One AAA member declared, “The artist no longer feels that he is ‘representing reality.’ He is actually making reality.” Yet, abstraction was slow to gain widespread popular appeal with American audiences and critics dismissed the work of the AAA as too European. Painter Esphyr Slobodkina summed up this frustrating position saying, “When, finally, in 1936, the Museum of Modern Art did offer its public an exhibition of cubist and abstract art, only European artists were included.” With the outbreak of war in Europe, many avant-garde artists sought refuge in New York City befriending American artists and collectors. By the dawn of the fifties, American abstraction and its signature abstract expressionist style made New York City the center of the Western art world. 

American Abstraction during the Thirties and Forties is organized by Phoenix Art Museum. It is made possible through the support of the Henry Luce Foundation. 

Abstracción estadounidense durante los años treinta y cuarenta

La pintura abstracta estadounidense floreció en el período comprendido entre la Depresión y la Segunda Guerra Mundial a pesar de la continua competencia con artistas europeos. Muchos de los principales pintores estadounidenses habían estudiado en Europa durante la primera parte del siglo, mientras que otros llegaron a la madurez en los años treinta. Fundado en 1936, Artistas abstractos estadounidenses (American Abstract Artists [AAA]) fue un grupo dedicado a exhibir y promover el arte abstracto o no representativo, en la ciudad de Nueva York. Un miembro de AAA declaró: “El artista ya no siente que está 'representando la realidad'. De hecho, está haciendo realidad". Sin embargo, la abstracción tardó en ganar un atractivo popular generalizado entre el público estadounidense, y los críticos desestimaron el trabajo del AAA como demasiado europeo. El pintor Esphyr Slobodkina resumió esta posición frustrante diciendo: "Cuando, finalmente, en 1936, el Museo de Arte Moderno ofreció a su público una exposición de arte cubista y abstracto, solo se incluyeron artistas europeos". Con el estallido de la guerra en Europa, muchos artistas de vanguardia buscaron refugio en la ciudad de Nueva York para entablar amistad con artistas y coleccionistas estadounidenses. En los albores de los años cincuenta, la abstracción estadounidense y su característico estilo expresionista abstracto hicieron de la ciudad de Nueva York el centro del mundo del arte occidental.

Image credit/Crédito del imagen: Arthur Garfield Dove, Arrangement in Form II (Composición en forma II), 1944. Oil on canvas. Gift of an anonymous donor.

Image credit/Crédito del imagen: Philip C. Curtis, Space Activity (Actividad espacial), 1946. Tempera on paper. Gift of the Philip C. Curtis Restated Trust U/A/D April 7, 1994.

Logo - The Henry Luce Foundation

 

ADMISSION

Free for Members, veterans and active-duty Militaryand youth aged 5 and under.

General Admission:
$23 — Adults
$20 — Senior Citizens (Ages 65+)
$18 — Students (with ID) 

$14 
— Youth (Ages 6-17)

All exhibitions are included with General Admission.

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Voluntary-Donation Hours

This exhibition is open to the public for $8 (adult) / $5 (youth) during voluntary-donation, pay-what-you-wish hours from 3–9 pm each Wednesday, from 6–10 pm on the first Friday of each month, and is free for youth ages 17 and under from 10 am5 pm on the last Saturday of each month during Creative Saturdays: Free Under 18
 

Group Sales

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