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Modern MastersAmerican Abstraction at Midcentury

Published by GILES in association with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

Add to Cart US$65.00

Published — (UK and USA)

Dimensions — 256 pages, 305 × 254 mm (10 × 12 in.), portrait

Illustrations — 85 colour and 66 b&w illustrations

Format — Hardback

ISBN — 978-1-904832-59-1

Book Details (pdf) — Modern-Masters-AI-LR.pdf

Press Release — “Modern Masters” - new survey of postwar American...

Sales Points

"A wonderful starting point for a new generation of artists and scholars" Charles Giuliano, Berkshire Fine Arts "Modern Masters serves as a noteworthy introduction to this important field of modernist and American art. Also Mecklenburg's introductory essay ...offers as good an outline of the origins, rise, success, and demise of American abstract art as one could find" Henry Berry online

About the Book

This brand new volume presents in, stunning colour, over 70 postwar artworks from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and looks at the rise to prominence of New York as the centre of the modern art scene in the two decades following the Second World War. Some 31 major artists are featured, including Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Grace Hartigan, Robert Motherwell, Romare Bearden, Richard Diebenkorn, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Larry Rivers and Theodore Roszak. In her main essay Virginia Mecklenburg draws heavily on contemporary photographs, magazine and newspaper articles, diaries and personal recollections, to bring to life the works of art, the lives of the artists who created them, the galleries that exhibited them and the public’s reaction to them. She explains how the unique combination of the media, individual critics, and curators and gallery owners, was so important in shaping a distinctly modern American art form during the late 1940s and 1950s. Publication accompanied the inaugural exhibition which opened at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami. Other venues are the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia (November 5, 2010 – February 5, 2011), the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennesee (March 19, 2011 – June 19, 2011) and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (October 7, 2011 – January 1, 2012).

About the Author(s)

Virginia M. Mecklenburg is senior curator, painting and sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is co-author of Edward Hopper: The Watercolors (1999), and co-author of Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and their New York (1996)