Adolph Gottlieb, Blues, 1962, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Woodward Foundation, 1977.128
In the late 1950s, Adolph Gottlieb started his "burst" paintings, a series of works that showed smooth, round areas of color above vigorous brushstrokes and splatters. This method brought together the two main currents of abstract expressionism: the soft tones of color field painting and the dramatic gestures of action painting. The black shape at the bottom of this image reflects the artist's movement as he applied paint in one wide, twisting brushstroke. In contrast, the shades of blue above blend softly from light to dark, as if he used slower, more careful brushstrokes.
Luce Object Quote"The idea that painting is merely an arrangement of lines, colors, and forms is boring." Gottlieb, quoted in The New Decade, Exhibition Catalogue, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1955
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48 1/8 x 36 in. (122.3 x 91.4 cm)
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of the Woodward Foundation
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