JENN SINGER GALLERY presents Modern Summer: AbEx+, offering works on canvas & paper by influential Abstract Expressionists, hand selected from an important private collection in New York City. Bright raw colors, rough edges and spontaneity define the seven paintings on view by established modern artists including Paul Jenkins, Syd Solomon, Robert Natkin and Stanley William Hayter – all who have enjoyed prominent exhibition histories and whose works are held in the permanent collections of top institutions including MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney and the Tate. With a focus on pieces from the 1970s & 80s, the exhibition succinctly captures the power, uniqueness and historical import of these post-war modern artists working at the height of their careers.
Paul Jenkins (1923-2012), recognized as one of the leaders of the American Abstract Expressionist movement, had a personal relationship with color and its purity. Jenkins once proclaimed, "I paint what God is to me." In his paintings, Jenkins flows, pulls, and pushes “pure color”, to create almost celestial imagery on his paper and canvases. In the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Guggenheim, Morgan Library and Museum, MoMA, The Whitney Museum and the Tate, Jenkins was known as a pioneer in uniting the concepts of color-field painting and action painting -- perfectly exemplified in his two watercolors and oil on canvas on view.
While Jenkins looked to express the celestial, Syd Solomon (1917 – 2004) looked to represent his perception of nature and the physical. Solomon looked to the sea, earth, and sky as inspiration for his often-explosive action paintings. Solomon gained notoriety in the 1960s and is in prestigious collections including The Guggenheim, Whitney Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Tate.
In an “Untitled” painting by Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010) – a work from his Field Mouse series – the mood is lightened with what Natkin called “ a ‘scatter balance’ of interacting textures, patterns, and shapes”. The series was inspired by an Ezra Pound translation of a Chinese poem (below), which Natkin refered to as “a sweeping landscape of emotion”:
And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough,
And life goes by
Like a field mouse,
Running through the grass not touching.
For his paintings in the Field Mouse series, Natkin expressed his desire for how they are to be seen, “I want the eye of the viewer never to tire, never to cease”. Though in the collections of major museums around the world, including The Brooklyn Museum, MoMA, the Whitney and the Guggenhiem, Natkin was known for his mischievous spirit, and once licked a Vermeer painting at the Frick.
With his roots in printmaking and Surrealism, British artist Stanley William Hayter’s (1901 – 1988) theoretical writings on automatism and the expressive abstraction of his own work were a formative influence on Pollock and other abstract expressionists via his printmaking studio, Atelier 17, where Hayter taught Pollock and other well known artists including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz and Alberto Giacometti. In his work on canvas “Curtain”, the artist plays with his love of color, abstraction, and fascination with waves. Hayter’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Tate, the British Museum, MoMA, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Modern Summer: AbEx+ brings together work by these key players in a post-WW II movement that had lasting effects on art as we know and appreciate it today.
ABOUT THE GALLERY:
Jenn Singer Gallery’s diverse program features emerging and mid-career contemporary artists, as well as a selection of artworks by established post-war modern artists. The gallery is located in New York City’s historic Gramercy Park neighborhood.
For additional images / information, please contact the gallery: [email protected]