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American Modernists in the 40s and 50s

May 16 - Jun 12, 2015

New York

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Press Release

Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, is pleased to announce Continuing Modernism/Beginning Abstraction: American Modernists in the 40s and 50s, an exhibition that examines the continuing innovation and evolution of American Modernist painters and sculptors in a period often defined by the supremacy of Abstract Expressionism.

Artists such as Max Weber, William Zorach, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe, revolutionized the art world in the 1910s and 1920s. Having launched their careers at the 1913 Armory Show or on the walls of Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery, these artists propelled the American art scene, viewers, critics, and collectors alike, into the twentieth century, and redefined art, its purpose, and its role in society in the process. The Abstract Expressionists similarly brought a sea change to the intellectual and aesthetic expectations of art in the 1940s and 1950s, quickly superseding their Modernist predecessor in popularity and influence. Yet, it was precisely during these two decades that many of the American Modernists reached the apex of their careers, receiving their most important commissions, being awarded the most prestigious exhibitions of their lives, and, of course, serving as mentors and teachers to this new generation of artists. Their careers and styles did not stagnate. Instead, they continued to innovate, learning from their students, and often even adapting characteristics that would define Abstract Expressionism into their own work to create something entirely new. 

Continuing Modernism/Beginning Abstraction will shine a much needed light on the production of the American Modernist generation as its artists successfully brought their art and aesthetics into the post-war era.

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