Skip to Main Content
Emerson Woelffer, ‘Untitled’, 1954, Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center
Save
Save
Share
Share

Untitled, 1954

Lithograph
This is part of a limited edition set.
Permanent collection
About the work
Provenance
Emerson Woelffer
American, 1914–2003
Follow

Self-styled “Abstract Surrealist” Emerson Woelffer was an influential teacher and practitioner of a distinct strand of Abstract Expressionism. Drawing influence from László Moholy-Nagy (for whom he worked for seven years), Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Roberto Matta (who encouraged his use of free association), Woelffer developed an abstract style characterized by saturated colors and bold, jagged forms that hinted at symbolism and figuration. “I always work first and think later,” he said. “There is no idea to begin with. I just start and it works or it doesn’t. It’s not about anything like a tree or an apple.” Woelffer taught at several major American art schools, including a stint at Black Mountain College at the invitation of architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller. “He was an American original, a tender tough guy who turned a lot of people on to the beauty of abstract painting,” said Ed Ruscha, a one-time student of Woelffer who also curated a posthumous retrospective for him in 2003.

Emerson Woelffer, ‘Untitled’, 1954, Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center
Save
Save
Share
Share
About the work
Provenance
Emerson Woelffer
American, 1914–2003
Follow

Self-styled “Abstract Surrealist” Emerson Woelffer was an influential teacher and practitioner of a distinct strand of Abstract Expressionism. Drawing influence from László Moholy-Nagy (for whom he worked for seven years), Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Roberto Matta (who encouraged his use of free association), Woelffer developed an abstract style characterized by saturated colors and bold, jagged forms that hinted at symbolism and figuration. “I always work first and think later,” he said. “There is no idea to begin with. I just start and it works or it doesn’t. It’s not about anything like a tree or an apple.” Woelffer taught at several major American art schools, including a stint at Black Mountain College at the invitation of architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller. “He was an American original, a tender tough guy who turned a lot of people on to the beauty of abstract painting,” said Ed Ruscha, a one-time student of Woelffer who also curated a posthumous retrospective for him in 2003.

Untitled, 1954

Lithograph
This is part of a limited edition set.
Permanent collection
Other works by Emerson Woelffer
Related works
Most Similar