With Elements of Abstraction Kraushaar Galleries will present a selection of early to mid 20th Century works by American artists. The earliest example is Max Weber’s Head of a Woman, 1918, in which the artist combines aspects of Cubism and African sculpture and translates the human form into simplified geometric units, angularizing the figure’s forehead, nose, chin, and hair and elongating the shape of her face. In Autumn Sun on the Range, 1920, John Sloan continues his exploration of the vast, abstract and organic elements of the New Mexico landscape while including lessons learned from the 1913 Armory Show. With his silverpoint drawing, Plums on White Cloth, 1927, Marsden Hartley, suavely plays with the perspective and hatching devices of Cézanne. The plums, and the cloth on which they lie, rest elegantly across the whole field of the composition, in no particular order. But the repetition of even hatching holds even their most knotted and complicated forms lightly in place.
By 1933, in Nebulous, John Storrs was complementing his sculptural work with paintings that manifest his burgeoning interest in the Surrealist movement, as well as to his ongoing relationships with painters such as Marsden Hartley whom he had known from the early 1920s. Burgoyne Diller’s First Theme, #246, circa 1940, may seem deceptively simple, but we know that he proceeded slowly and deliberately by methods that included the pinning of colored construction paper to the canvas in a nearly endless search for a perfect and elusive visual statement. The mid century works on paper by Dorothy Dehner and Theodoros Stamos introduce the foundation of Abstract Expressionism.
Other works presented are Vaclav Vytlacil’s circa 1924 Abstract Composition, which reflects the early teachings of Hans Hoffman; Esphyr Slobodkina’s fragmented painting of Sails, circa 1958, and William Kienbusch’s vibrant casein, Autumn Hill, 1971, a mature fusion of his own vision and the historical lessons of Hartley, Marin and Dove. John Von Wicht’s gestural abstraction, Forms on Red #2, 1963, and Lenore Tawney’s circa 1978 Untitled collage are also included.