D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc

Pioneers of American Abstraction: The 1930s-1940s

Pioneers of American Abstraction: The 1930s-1940s

black rectangle by balcomb greene

Balcomb Greene

Black Rectangle, 1937

gambit by werner drewes

Werner Drewes

Gambit, 1943

geometric abstraction with squares by rolph scarlett

Rolph Scarlett

Geometric Abstraction with Squares, ca. 1940

inside-outside by irene rice pereira

Irene Rice Pereira

Inside-Outside, 1952

contemplation by george l.k. morris

George L.K. Morris

Contemplation, 1939

Thursday, May 5, 2011Thursday, June 30, 2011


New York, NY USA

D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc. is pleased to announce its current exhibition Pioneers of American Abstraction: The 1930s-1940s, on view through June 30. In honor of the American Abstract Artists group's 75th Anniversary, our exhibition focuses on the group’s founding members, including: ILYA BOLOTOWSKY, BURGOYNE DILLER, WERNER DREWES, BALCOMB GREENE, FREDERICK KANN, ALICE TRUMBULL MASON, GEORGE L.K. MORRIS, I. RICE PEREIRA, JOHN SENNHAUSER, CHARLES GREEN SHAW, ESPHYR SLOBODKINA, and JEAN XCERON. Many of these artists also exhibited at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (now the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) after its opening in 1939.

Works on view by the Transcendentalist artists of New Mexico are also included: EMIL BISTTRAM, ED GARMAN, LAWREN HARRIS, and RAYMOND JONSON, as well as examples by Chicago Modernists: CHARLES BIEDERMAN and DANIEL MASSEN.

The exhibition is a well-timed counterpoint to the Whitney Museum of American Art’s current exhibition Breaking Ground which draws attention to the museum’s early emphasis on Realism. The American Abstract Artists banded together in 1936 to bring attention to the abstraction created in New York which the Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art chose to ignore on the assumption that the United States would never have a native abstract tradition. The AAA and other pioneers of abstraction in the 1930s and 1940s developed the language, techniques, and basic elements of pure abstraction for future generations of American artists, particular those who took part in Abstract Expressionism, Op, and Color Field.

The installation of 30 paintings and 7 constructions includes the following highlights:

• a 1938 construction which shows the early use of plastic by Charles Biederman
• one of only two Surrealist sculptures by Esphyr Slobodkina created in 1938 through deconstructed furniture parts
• one of the first four Polygons exhibited by Charles Green Shaw in Paris in 1936
• 2 Neoplasticist paintings by Burgoyne Diller, one of which was included in his 1990 Whitney Museum of American Art solo exhibition
• Blue Structure, an exhibition sized Ilya Bolotowsky exhibited at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (now the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) in 1945
• Two paintings by Irene Rice Pereira included in her 1953 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition

Further information and images are available at: http://www.dwigmore.com/currentexhibition.html

An exhibition in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the American Abstract Artists featuring the art of current members of the group will be held at OK Harris from May 21 – July 15, 2011.