Wilkin notes the importance of John Graham to the American painters: "Graham was always in the middle of it… He's the glue." She also comments on how each artist was important to the others' development: "That kind of cross-fertilization is what fascinates us… It's not just that they're looking at European modernism, that's how these artists are always discussed, in relation to what was going on in Paris. Of course they're paying attention to that, but they're also looking at each other's interpretations of European modernism and learning from each other."
Naves writes that these four artists "were united by an unshakable sense of purpose. 'American Vanguards' is installed with an eye toward underscoring that bond. Discrete themes - the still-life, the city, abstraction (both pure and not), and what can only be termed Ingres-worship - are grouped together with a keen sense of rhythm and commonality. Continuity is the leitmotif, and it’s elaborated upon with understated and, at moments, thrilling nuance."
"Arriving in L.A. in 1937, following his association with Arshile Gorky, whose studio he shared in New York from 1928-37, Burkhardt represented L.A.'s earliest and most critical link to the New York School... Burkhardt was both critically celebrated and 'censored,' as his works proved controversial in the years leading up to the McCarthy Era, when modern artists in L.A. were seen as Communist threats. Particularly controversial were his anti-war paintings and Hollywood studio strike paintings..."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.