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Starting Out

9 Abstract Painters 1958 - 1971

June 5 – August 1, 2014

Jane Freilicher Untitled Abstraction
Edward Avedisian Normal Love #1
Paul Feeley Trajan
Abstract Landscape 1963
Darby Bannard Untitled
Edward Avedisian Untitled
Helen Frankenthaler Two Live as One on a Crocodile Isle
Kenneth Noland Space of Red
Darby Bannard Yellow Rose #1
Ralph Humphrey Alma Court #1
Paul Feeley Untitled
Paul Feeley Untitled
Kendall Shaw Escatawpa Sunrise
Many Parts 1962

Press Release

The gallery is pleased to present an exhibition that will comprise nine large-scale paintings and a selection of smaller works on paper by nine abstract painters. Each of the artists in the show exhibited with the gallery.

By the end of the 1950s, Tibor de Nagy Gallery was celebrated for its discovery and promotion of a group of young artists that became known as second-generation New York School painters. The original roster included representational painters Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Nell Blaine, and Jane Freilicher, among others. What isn’t well-known is the gallery’s subsequent shift in favor of a group of younger abstract painters starting in the late 1950s into the 1960s.

The gallery continued to represent many of the artists from its original roster, with the exception of Helen Frankenthaler and Kenneth Noland, both of whom left the gallery by 1960. Many of the emerging artists painted in response to Abstract Expressionism, while for others their work from the 1960s was an organic outgrowth of work they were doing in the 1950s.

Most of these artists would go on to paint abstractions for their entire careers. However, for Edward Avedisian and for Jane Freilicher, their involvement with abstraction turned out to be a resting point, and both ultimately painted representationally. Freilicher had her first exhibition with the gallery in 1952. Toward the end of the 1950s, she started to paint luminous and atmospheric abstractions. By the mid-1960s the paintings coalesced into articulated landscapes.

The exhibition is a testament to friendships and a much smaller art world. It is also a testament to the gallery and its vital role in the changing art scene of the 1960s.