1943-1944 Carl Holty Born: Freiburg, Germany 1900 Died: New York, New York 1973 oil on fiberboard 48 x 36 in. (122.0 x 91.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost 1986.92.59 Not currently on view
Holty believed that abstract forms could express human experiences of space, time, and movement, but only if the artist started with the things he saw around him. In Gridiron he abstracted the kneeling form of a football player, "exploding" the figure into a network of lines and shapes that capture the physical energy of the game. Not long after Holty made this work, a younger generation of abstract expressionists took the country by storm, unleashing their subconscious desires and impulses in paint. But Holty remained suspicious of abstract art that only meant something to the artist, saying "I would like to paint about the world, not myself."
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
paint - oil