Halasz writes that the exhibitions"might be said to constitute one show of three generations. The first show celebrates Perle Fine, an artist associated with the first generation of abstract expressionists; they mostly came to their artistic maturity in the later 1940s. The second exhibition offers work by a group of artists usually associated with the second generation of abstract expressionists: they mostly established their reputations in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the few exceptions in this group didn’t have his first solo exhibition until 1985, and thus represents a third generation. This artist, James Walsh, is further featured in a small exhibition of his own."
Perle Fine, Cool Series, No. 35, Shape-Up, ca. 1961-1963 Oil on canvas, 70 x 80 inches (courtesy Spanierman Modern)
For an artist whose career success rivaled many well known New York School painters, Perle Fine (1905-1988) is surprisingly under-known. A student of Hans Hofmann, Fine was successful early, showing work at the Betty Parsons and Tanager Galleries in the 1940’s and 50’s. As early as 1942, her work began to be included in important group exhibitions at galleries such as Art of This Century and Stable Gallery. She was included in nine Whitney Annual and Bi-annual exhibitions between 1946 and 1972.
Fine’s artistic circle included the most accomplished New York School and European painters, from Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Ad Reinhardt to Piet Mondrian. Fine was a member of The Club, consistently well reviewed in the art press, and interviewed on the radio by Irving Sandler.
Early in her career, Fine practiced gestural abstraction, however, the current show at Spanierman Modern highlights selections from her Cool Series. This remarkable group of paintings moves confidently away from gesture (the hallmark of Abstract Expressionism) toward hard-edge geometric painting. Nearly every work in the show consists of a single open rectangular form on a monochromatic ground. Painted between 1961-63, they anticipate later developments in geometric abstract painting.
Halasz notes that "The period covered by the show at Howard is a particularly important one for Dzubas, marking the years during which he evolved up & away from being merely a very good 'color-field' painter, producing paintings that, while handsome, belonged to the same general family as the work being done during that same period (of the early 60s) by Frankenthaler & Olitski (most notably)."
Painter Frank Bowling discusses his work in a new video filmed in his studio.
Bowling remarks: "In my youth I tended to look at the tragic side of human behavior an try and reflect that in my work, but gradually, as I became more involved in the making of paintings, I realized that one of the main ingredients in making paintings was color - and geometry - and I found this was the place I felt the most comfortable, and I've been going along this track ever since." He continues, describing his painting process in detail, noting: "It all happens very much in an extemporary way. I don't have any pre-plan idea about how I'm going to make a painting."
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.