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Small Scale Abstract Works Get Big Focus in New Exhibition at Loyola University Museum of Art
Mary Abbott, Untitled, c. 1953. Private collection.
CHICAGO.- Suitcase Paintings: Small Scale Abstract Expressionist Works, the newest exhibition opening at the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA), opens today, September 20 and runs through October 26, 2008. The exhibition offers a unique focus and challenges the perception in the art world that bigger is always better.

Organized by Thomas McCormick for the Georgia Museum of Art, Suitcase Paintings presents the work of artists normally associated with large-scale paintings. The exhibition showcases more than 50 canvases under 24 inches that achieve the same emotion and action of larger works. The exhibition features several well-known Abstract Expressionist painters, such as Ralph Arnold, William Baziotes, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, and Robert Motherwell.

“Suitcase Paintings gives our visitors the opportunity to experience Abstract Expressionism on a more intimate scale,” said LUMA director Pamela Ambrose. “We know they will be amazed with how these small canvases pack a lot of punch.”

History of Abstract Expressionism - Abstract Expressionism is said to be America’s first revolutionary artistic movement. An umbrella term, Abstract Expressionism was coined in 1946 by Robert Coates, The New Yorker magazine art critic, to describe a new form of art whose vitality and energy was expressed through paint.

“Each new Abstract Expressionist had to develop a personal painting identity that would be as recognizable as his or her name,” said April Kingsley, curator of the Kresge Art Museum and a Suitcase Paintings catalogue essayist. In fact, according to Kingsley, Abstract Expressionism doesn’t even have to be abstract, and was never completely so, with most of the artists involved in the movement alternating between complete abstraction or abstraction with biomorphic shapes or figurative references included in the composition.





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