New Canaan

  • Michael Goldberg, New Canaan, 1959, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift from the Vincent Melzac Collection, 1980.6.10

An abstract expressionist artist, Michael Goldberg was known for his aggressive, gestural canvases. In the mid-1950s he began painting with large brushes, spatulas, and trowels to bring greater speed and spontaneity to his work. In New Canaan, broad bands of black, brown, white, and yellow are layered on top of each other in the traditional vocabulary of foreground and background. The diagonal yellow band emphasizes the foreground and gives the painting a sense of depth. This blocky structuring of color shows the influence of Hans Hofmann, one of Goldberg’s first teachers. The title could refer to the town of New Canaan, Connecticut, where Goldberg often spent his summers at vacation spots outside New York City. (Paul Schimmel et al., Action/​Precision: The New Direction in New York 195560, 1984)

“… so much of my thinking is involved with the process of the doing.” The artist, quoted in Ellen Lee Klein, All Kinds of Rational Questions: An Interview with Michael Goldberg,” Arts Magazine, February 1985
New Canaan
Not on view
30 1435 in. (76.888.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift from the Vincent Melzac Collection

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Abstract
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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