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Tampa Museum of Art celebrates Abstract Expressionism with two new exhibitions
Robert Motherwell (American, 1915-1991), Elegy Study I, 1989. Lithograph in black and white on brown paper. 32 1/2 x 54 1/2 inches. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of the Sybiel B. Berkman Foundation, 2000.104.


TAMPA, FLA.- Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution, Selections from the Haskell Collection presents twenty-five works from the Haskell Collection indicative of Abstract Expressionism as a unifying direction in Post-World War II art. The exhibition highlights artists associated with the influential first and second generations of Abstract Expressionist painters including Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Morris Louis, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Mark Rothko, and Theodoros Stamos. Later works by Gerhard Richter, Jack Goldstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella respond or reflect on the lasting legacy of Abstract Expressionism in both the US and abroad. Viewed together, the works in Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution address how individual artistic expression and independence from institutional values altered the course of painting. In this exhibition, visual vocabulary will be discussed in relationship to the artists’ collective objectives and individual intentions.

In addition to those mentioned above, artists represented in Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution also include Josef Albers, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Karel Appel, Sam Francis, Michael Goldberg, Paul Jenkins, Jean Miotte, Judy Pfaff, Jean-Paul Riopelle, James Rosenquist, and Jack Tworkov. Unless noted otherwise, all works are from the Haskell Collection.

Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and is curated by Museum Executive Director, Dr. Michael Tomor.

Dr. Tomor remarked, “The works featured in Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution offer a window onto the evolution of process and abstraction in the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition presents a group of artists who, together and independently of one another, influenced a freedom of personal expression in art that continues to this day. Although they did not share a similar style or set of artistic values, these artists learned from one another and encouraged one another to seek out their own truth and visual vocabulary.”

Echoing Forms: American Abstraction from the Permanent Collection
On view April 13 through August 18, 2019

As the Tampa Museum of Art nears its 100th anniversary, exhibitions in 2019 and 2020 will focus on the breadth of the institution’s permanent collection, as well as examine its collecting history. The Tampa Museum of Art’s holdings are unique, with distinct collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, as well as modern and contemporary art.

Echoing Forms: American Abstraction from the Permanent Collection presents paintings, works on paper, and photography by major artists associated with post-war American abstraction. Abstract Expressionism emerged as the dominant genre of painting in the mid-1940s. For the next 40 years, artists working across media would examine and redefine the boundaries of abstraction. From Robert Motherwell’s serial compositions of repeating ovoid and geometric forms, to the patterned brushwork of Alma Thomas, and Aaron Siskind’s photographic studies of found objects echoing gestural paint strokes, the Tampa Museum of Art’s collection includes work from influential artists associated with the rise of American abstraction.

Artists featured in Echoing Forms also include Joseph Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Ellsworth Kelly, Elaine de Kooning, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, and others. Echoing Forms: Abstraction from the Permanent Collection is a companion show to the special exhibition Abstract Expression: A Social Revolution.

Joanna Robotham, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art stated, “I’m thrilled to present works from the Museum’s permanent collection that illustrate the emergence of post-war American abstraction and parallel the narrative of the esteemed Haskell Collection. I am pleased Echoing Forms provides visitors an opportunity to view the depths of our holdings and see how artists revolutionized abstraction in painting, photography, and printmaking.”


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