A small polished bronze sculpture of a biomorphic form rising gracefully from a small base. Where it contacts the base, the form stands on two leg-like structures. The form rises from there, narrows, then opens up into a wider, more oblong shape at the top.
An early example of Jean (Hans) Arp's interest in biomorphic abstraction. In its attention to basic, generic biomorphic shapes the piece is a kind of study of primordial organic forms, forms suggestive of all manner of life but not representing anything specifically.
A small, biomorphically abstract sculpture of bronze grows from a wooden base. Bulbous at the bottom, the shape stretches and narrows in the middle and then expands into a larger shape from which two rounded points rise.
An example of Jean (Hans) Arp's interest in biomorphic abstraction. In its attention to basic, generic biomorphic shapes the piece is a kind of study of primordial organic forms, forms suggestive of all manner of life but not representing anything specifically.
Painting depicting a featureless female figure, in tones of aqua and light blue extending across the center of the canvas in a light gray hammock. There is a bright white shape, perhaps a book, in the middle of the figure. Behind the figure, the rest of the composition is organized in horizontal sections. At top, a yellow sky; below that are two gently-curved mountains in dark brown, followed by two horizontal planes of color in tan and light brown.
The year this painting was painted, Avery spent the summer in Woodstock, NY with his wife, Sally, and their daughter, March, who is probably the reader in the hammock. This work marks Avery’s later period in which he drops any hint of outline, facial and ornamental detail and concentrates on shape, color and composition. He uses undercoats of color, building, layering and scratching to create depth. He uses muted color values and flat tones—he is concerned with surface qualities rather than density and volume. He emphasized the two-dimensionality of the picture plane and was interested in the inter-relation of color and shapes on a single plane.
A base composed of a red section that lies on the floor and a black section that rises to narrow point. On the point rests the moving part of the "mobile"--one arm extends out and ends in a black boomerang; the other extends out then attaches to a vertical arm that has yellow polygons on either end.
The abstractionist's interest in the rhythm and motion created by the way shapes, lines, and colors interact with one another is here put in actual motion in the form of a mobile.
A canvas saturated in layered shades of muted browns, oranges, ochres, and yellows is crossed by lines, some dark some light, some on the surface, some buried beneath the surface color. A bold horizontal line cuts across about a quarter of the way from the bottom. On the right are several faint verticals. At the top two horizontal lines underlap and overlap with two diagonals.
Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park series is named after the neighborhood in Santa Monica, California where he had his studio. The subjects of the series are 1) an abstract consideration of color and form, 2) a treatment of the southern California landscape (the mellow subtleties of West Coast sunlight, the vast almost abstract appearance of the dry, open land), and 3) the painting process itself, which the artist makes visible to the viewer through the layers of paint.
A landscape reduced to minimal abstract elements. The lower half of the painting is black. The upper half, various shades of white and blue. Two black squares are suspended in the white above the black. A small pale blue circle is between the squares.
One of Gottlieb's Imaginary Landscapes. The landscape reduced to basic conceptual elements, allowing the work to resonate between representation and pure minimalist abstraction. Interested in mythology, Carl Jung, and indigenous art, Gottlieb hoped to show "the emotional truth of the landscape."
Flat, colorful, overlapping geometric and biomorphic abstract forms
A non-representional composition of colorful, flat, overlapping geometric and biomorphic abstract forms. The painting is about the way these forms interrelate to create a balanced and rhythmic composition.
Signature: incised in the image l.r.: Jacob Lawrence 53
Inscriptions and Marks: on removable backing board, l.l., written sideways with a blue colored pencil “#15”; u.c., with a blue colored pencil surrounded by an oval “112”; on liner, l.l., written sideways with a blue colored pencil “#15”; on tape covering upper member of the inner frame; u.r., written with a red colored pencil “44”
Eight abstracted figures (three kneeling in front and five standing in back) wearing orange tank tops and white shorts face the viewer; two basketballs and five trophies between figures in the foreground. Figures stand in front of a background of fragmented, arched and circular areas of color in blues and golds.
Jacob Lawrence drew upon his surroundings in Harlem, NY for influence and inspiration. His work often contains people in the African American community and their struggles, dreams and triumphs. “Champions” depicts a portrait of an African American basketball team resplendent with their five trophies. The schematic designs, flat space, angular figures, and fragmented, highly patterned surfaces of this piece are typical of his style.
A spare and restrained abstract composition, built up out of layers of mostly translucent basic geometric forms. The grey tones of the background are created with large rectangle shapes. In the upper part of the piece is a light colored circle, with a brighter circle inside it. Both are crossed by an axis of bright, thin orange lines. On the left, the point of a triangle protrudes from the edge. It is covered by a faint gray trapezoidal shape. Three small black semi-circles are also visible: one along the lines inside the circles; the other two along the trapezoidal shape and just beneath the triangle.
A restrained formal abstract composition, the subject of the piece is the relationship between the shapes and colors. Moholy-Nagy theorized that in the visual realm, space, time, mass, and light can become like one perceptible substance. In this piece we can also see the artist's interest in the spare forms and clean lines of industrial design, an interest of the Bauhaus school where he taught in the twenties.
Two tall, rectangular intersecting planes, one black and one white, create the appearance of a tall, minimal structure. Vertical lines of black and white add to the structure, which at its base projects slightly into a rough square shape that seems to delineate a kind of ground or base. The space around the structure is ochre.
The basic forms and lines of this piece consider fundamental formal relationships and are in dialogue with Bauhaus ideas about architecture and industrial design.
Abstracted human figure reclining on its side. Eight strings resembling the strings of a harp extend from the chest area to the hip.
Shows Henry Moore's interest in biomorphic abstraction and the human figure. The melodic and lyrical elements of the form are suggested by the strings running from torso to hip evoking a stringed instrument.
Made of thick steel, this sculpture has two very distinct halves. One on side, the thick sheet of steel gracefully curves around and back on itself, making loops and rounded edges. On the reverse, the steel is angular, jagged, and sharp, jutting into the spaces in the sculpture's interior and the space around the whole. At the very center of the piece, along the implied dividing line between the two sides, is a relatively small box.
The subjects of Lucas Samara's steel sculpture are in part formal: the encounter between the two different halves, the curved and the jagged; the different relationships between the material and these distinct forms. The box at the center of the divided forms and in the title, "Stiff Box 12," suggests other thematic content: a kind of Pandora's box idea of chaos and strife springing from the opened container; a contest over possession of an object.
Rectangles of offwhite and blue-grey, of various sizes, arranged on a grid.
Work in the style of geometric abstraction and color field. Scully's highly formal gridded work explores the interplay of shape and color. His work both compositional energy and balance of gridded order.
A roughly teardrop-shaped sculpture of shiny cast aluminum. Within the basic organic shape are several curls and a shape that appears to be a woman or perhaps a fetus. The sculpture sits atop a tall wooden base composed of a stack of fat disc shapes.
About organic form in itself, this sculpture includes an abstracted figure who could be either a woman or a fetus in the womb. The elements make the piece a commentary on the organic, fertility, and nurture. The closed form with its internal voids reflects simultaneously on protection and vulnerability.
A black granite abstract sculpute. Two "legs" rise up toward one another to meet at a point, making a basic triangle shape. At the bottom of the "legs," two horizontal "feet" protrude away from the object's center and end in four-sided points.
Tony Smith's abstract sculpture resonates between the mathematical and the organic, the material and the spiritual. It also shows some of the architectural sense that came from his early career as an architect. Solid and powerful, the piece nevertheless exhibits a kind of movement and flux as viewers move around it.
Bust-length portrait of figure in black on green background using thickly applied paint.
One of a number of figurative pieces produced by Johnson, who while using expressionist techniques, was one of few artists depicting figurative subjects during a pro-Abstract Expressionist period. Gestural but representational, this work nonetheless contains many of the characteristics of Abstract Expressionism, especially the thick application of paint and the sense of the artist’s hand in the creation of the work.