Adolph Gottlieb, Sentinel, 1951, Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 121.9 cm, Collection of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York, © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/Licensed by©Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, VAGA, NY/by SIAE 2010.
Adolph Gottlieb, Burst, 1973, Acrylic and enamel on canvas, 213.4 x 152.4 cm, Collection of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York, © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/Licensed by ©Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, VAGA, NY, NY/by SIAE 2010,
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
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Adolph Gottlieb. A Retrospective
Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero
September 4, 2010-January 9, 2011
The story of Adolph Gottlieb (1903-74) is typical of that of the group of Abstract Expressionists. Close friends with Milton Avery and Mark Rothko from the early 1930s, he was a founder in 1935 of "The Ten," a loosely defined group of Expressionist painters. He worked for the Federal Art Project of the New Deal in the late 1930s. Studiously attentive to the European avant-garde, Cubism and Surrealism in particular, he developed a pictorial format in the 1940s that he termed the Pictograph, a grid into which he inserted a personal symbolic language of forms, evocative of primitive myth. In 1950 Gottlieb was the organizer of "The Irascibles," a group that formed in protest to its exclusion from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and which has been immortalized in a photograph by Nina Leen. His work became more abstract, gestural and expressionist in the 1950s, leading up to a series of images, Bursts, for which he is now best known. Nevertheless these formed only one episode in a richly various artistic progress which this exhibition, with over sixty paintings and works on paper and six sculptures, sets out to illustrate.
For the first time in Italy, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection celebrates a great American painter, Adolph Gottlieb, with a retrospective exhibition. Following exhibitions dedicated to William Baziotes and Richard Pousette-Dart, the Collection turns to another of the group of the American Abstract Expressionists, a movement closely tied to Peggy Guggenheim’s career as collector and gallerist. Gottlieb’s paintings were exhibited by Peggy in her 1945 Autumn Salon at Art of This Century, along with other Abstract Expressionists such as Motherwell, Rothko, Still, de Kooning and Pollock.
Adolph Gottlieb. A Retrospective has been organized in partnership with the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York, and is supported by Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois. It includes loans from the American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich, various private collections, as well as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Musée National d’Art Moderne (Centre Pompidou), and the Museum Frieder Burda.