Tracing Lineage: Abstraction and its Aftermath
November 18, 2023–March 17, 2024, Grossman Family Gallery and Barbara and Edward Netter Foundation Gallery
What does it mean to explore abstraction in the aftermath of Abstract Expressionism? From its heyday in the 1940s and ’50s, abstract art gained momentum in the postwar United States and remains a touchstone for artists working today. Tracing Lineage: Abstraction and its Aftermath addresses key art-historical movements, including Abstract Expressionism and its various permutations—from Action Painting and Color Field to Minimalism and Postminimalism—while also showcasing work by contemporary artists whose investigations of color, form, and material elucidate the ongoing legacies of painterly abstraction.
Drawn from the Museum’s holdings and augmented by key loans from private collections, Tracing Lineagebrings together nearly twenty-five paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works by artists working from the late 1950s to the present day. The exhibition explores concurrent and overlapping themes, including gesture, process, geometry, and materiality. The works on display include the boldly gestural canvases of Elaine de Kooning and Ed Clark; the lyrical, color-based abstractions of Helen Frankenthaler and Kenneth Victor Young; the process-oriented art of Diana Al-Hadid, Lynda Benglis, and Hugo McCloud; the geometric abstractions of Sol LeWitt and Stanley Whitney; and the expansive and often unconventional materials used by Anthony Akinbola, George Morrison, Joan Snyder, and Robert Rauschenberg.
As the title suggests, the concept of artistic lineage is paramount throughout this exhibition. Focused groupings of objects highlight formal affinities and personal relationships among contemporaries such as Ralph Iwamoto and LeWitt, McArthur Binion and Whitney, and Louise Nevelson and Morrison while also drawing out connections between a younger generation of abstractionists and the predecessors who influenced them. Abstraction has expanded considerably since the mid-twentieth century to more overtly embrace personal narratives and expressions of identity, including gender, sexuality, and race. This intergenerational narrative is a testament to the ongoing urgency and vital possibilities of abstraction today.
Artists featured include Diana Al-Hadid, Anthony Akinbola, Lynda Benglis, McArthur Binion, Ed Clark, Elaine de Kooning, Torkwase Dyson, Ron Gorchov, Harmony Hammond, Ralph Iwamoto, Rashid Johnson, Sol LeWitt, Hugo McCloud, George Morrison, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, Mildred Thompson, Joan Snyder, Theodore Stamos, Pat Steir, and Kenneth Victor Young.
This exhibition is organized by Margarita Karasoulas, Curator of Art, with support from Adria Gunter, Curatorial Research Associate.
Ralph Iwamoto (American, 1927–2013)
Interlocking Yellows, 1975
Acrylic on cotton, 72 x 72 in.
Hollis Taggart Gallery, New York
Courtesy of the Estate of Ralph Iwamoto and Hollis Taggart, New York
Photo: Josh Nefsky, New York
Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011)
Harvest II, 1975
Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 69 in.
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York
© 2023 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Diana Al-Hadid (American, b. Syria, 1981)
Polymer gypsum, fiberglass, steel, plaster, gold leaf and pigment, 58 x 64 in.
Collection of Dan Abrams and Florinka Pesenti. Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin, New York.
© Diana Al-Hadid. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Diego Flores.
Hugo McCloud (American, b. 1980)
scaled vision, 2018
Patina, oil stick, solder on solid bronze sheet, mounted on aluminum frame, 100 x 98 in.
Courtesy: the artist and Sean Kelly, New York/Los Angeles © Hugo McCloud
Photo: Jason Wyche, New York