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Adolph Gottlieb: Early Prints Opens at Allen Memorial
Adolph Gottlieb (4471P-13), Head, ca.1943, Linocut, ©Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, NY, NY.

OBERLIN, OH.- Adolph Gottlieb: Early Prints, an exhibition of prints by the inventive painter and printmaker who was one of the founders of Abstract Expressionism, opens at the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College on November 7, 2006 and continues through January 28, 2007.

On Thursday, November 9th Sanford Hirsch, Executive Director of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, will give a talk on Gottlieb in the Allen Art Building, Classroom 1 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm, followed by an opening reception in the museum from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

Organized by the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, this exhibition documents the 40 fascinating and complex etchings Gottlieb produced in his Brooklyn home between 1933 and 1947. Also on view in this exhibition is the Allen’s important Gottlieb painting, The Rape of Persephone (1943), which is directly related to a print of the same subject.

Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974), one of the older Abstract Expressionists, produced hundreds of drawings, several editions of prints and 1,000 paintings during his 50-year career. His early prints include unique impressions, including several that were made in Arizona, where the Gottliebs worked in isolation in the 1940s. The exhibition includes Gottlieb’s earliest known print, Untitled (Six Artists Etching), 1933, a whimsical portrait souvenir of an evening’s amusement among six artists who were friends and neighbors: Dorothy Dehner and her husband David Smith, Gottlieb and his wife Esther, and Lucille Corcos and Edgar Levy. The plate was made in Edgar Levy and Lucille Corcos’ apartment. Gottlieb printed it on his home etching press.

Artist Milton Avery was also a close friend of Gottlieb’s during the 1930s, and the two worked and vacationed together for many years. Both preferred a quick, informal style, evident in Gottlieb’s Untitled (The Seine, Paris), ca. 1936.

Gottlieb’s early prints unveil the polarities that he felt were crucial to convey meaning in his art. As Sanford Hirsch, Executive Director of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, writes in the accompanying catalogue: “The prints Gottlieb made between 1933 and 1947…reveal a defining principle of this artist and of the generation of which he was a part. Gottlieb’s prints are intimate works, some of them made just for himself, some as greetings to be sent to friends; others were intended for public display.” In all his works Gottlieb tried to express his feelings and produce images that the viewer would respond to immediately.

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