The New York School: A Cultural Reckoning

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Univ of California Press, 1992 - Art - 246 pages
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With the emergence of Abstract Expressionism after World War II, the attention of the international art world turned from Paris to New York. Dore Ashton captures the vitality of the cultural milieu in which the New York School artists worked and argued and critiqued each other's work from the 1930s to the 1950s. Working from unsifted archives, from contemporary newspapers and books, and from extensive conversations with the men and women who participated in the rise of the New York School, Ashton provides a rich cultural and intellectual history of this period. In examining the complex sources of this important movement—from the WPA program of the 1930s and the influx of European ideas to the recognition in the 1950s of American painting on an international scale—she conveys the concerns of an extraordinary group of artists including Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Philip Guston, Barnett Newman, Arshile Gorky, and many others. Rare documentary photographs illustrate Ashton's classic appraisal of the New York School scene.
 

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The essays in this book capture the thinking involved in the Abstract Expressionist School of New York. Read full review

Contents

Greenwich Villageand Depression
15
Hell its not just about painting
34
A Farrago of Theories
53
Studio Talk
75
Voices from Europe
99
Myth and Metamorphosis
114
William Baziotes at Peggy Guggenheims Art of This Century Gallery
120
Echo 1948
131
David Hare with his wife the photographer Denise Hare and family
172
calligraphic sketch of 1949
179
Philip Guston
180
Photograph of Jackson Pollocks East Hampton studio by Rudolph Burckhardt
182
Beach party at East Hampton in the early nineteenfifties
185
Adolph Gottlieb in his Provincetown studio
186
The Eighthstreet Club I 93
193
Nicolas Calas in the film 8 8 I9 I
197

The poet Stanley Kunitz
138
Isamu Noguchis set for Voyage was designed for Martha Graham in 1953
144
Jackson Pollock with his pet crow I54 3o Photograph of Arshile Gorky
156
American culture or mass culture?
164
Unpublished illustration by Willem de Kooning for Frank OHaras In Memory of My Feelings
167
Willem and Elaine de Kooning in 1950
169
Barnett Newman Jackson Pollock and the architectsculptor Tony Smith
171
Painting 1951 by Clyfford Still
206
Instantaneous tradition
209
Blue Poles 1952
226
The end of an era
229
Memoria in Aeterne 1962
232
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About the author (1992)

Dore Ashton is Professor of Art History at The Cooper Union, New York, and the author of many books on modern art.

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