The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, September 18, 2014


Thirty-three works dating from 1949 to 1953 by Alfonso Ossorio on view at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990), Untitled [MR172], c.1950. Ink, wax and watercolor on two sheets of cut and shaped paper mounted on painted shaped wood board, 25 3/8 x 34 7/8 x 5/8 inches. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY.
NEW YORK, NY.- Michael Rosenfeld Gallery presents Alfonso Ossorio: Blood Lines, 1949-1953, an exhibition of thirty-three works dating from 1949 to 1953, the majority of which Ossorio created in 1950 while working on a mural for a church dedicated by his family in the Philippines. Striking for their hot, vivid, deep colors, pierced and jagged forms, and pulsating energy, these wax-resist paintings on paper, done at the height of abstract expressionism’s ascendancy, captivated Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner and inspired Jean Dubuffet to write his only monographic study on Ossorio. Although the paintings circulated among artists and held a special place in Ossorio’s body of work, they remained largely under-exhibited until after the artist’s death in 1990.

This exhibition is the tenth that the gallery has dedicated exclusively to Ossorio’s work over the past twenty-five years, and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has worked extensively with the artist’s family in order to mount such a comprehensive exhibition of the “Victorias Drawings” and related work. Alfonso Ossorio: Blood Lines, 1949-1953 coincides with Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet (organized by the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC and the Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, New York, where it is currently on view), to which the gallery is a proud lender. Alfonso Ossorio: Blood Lines, 1949-1953 is accompanied by a color catalogue containing essays by Michael Solomon and Kent Minturn, as well as a never-before-published translation of the original appendix for Peintures initiatiques d’Alfonso Ossorio (The Initiatory Paintings of Alfonso Ossorio), Dubuffet’s 1951 monograph.

A close friend and supporter of abstract expressionist artists, Alfonso Ossorio was born in Manila, the Philippines and educated in Catholic boarding schools before coming to the United States in 1930. In 1933, he became a U.S. citizen and a year later, matriculated at Harvard University. He received his BA in 1938, after successful completion of a senior thesis titled Spiritual Influences on the Visual Image of Christ. In the late 1940s, he began to explore abstraction, forming vital friendships with Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet, who showed Ossorio the value of reaching inward for inspiration rather than starting with an object or world external to himself. His growing interest in abstraction coincided with his reading Nandor Fodor’s The Search for the Beloved—A Clinical Investigation of the Trauma of Birth and Pre-Natal Conditioning, which saw human gestation and birth as traumatic, violent processes.

In 1950, Ossorio traveled to Victorias, Negros, to work on a mural for the Church of Saint Joseph the Worker, which his family had built. The trip signaled his first time in the Philippines since he was ten years old. The return “home” opened old wounds from Ossorio’s youth, including conflict about his sexuality and the effects of his devoutly Catholic upbringing. While in Victorias, as a way to address these feelings and as a form of liberation from the stylistic restrictions of the mural project, he produced a stunning set of paintings collectively known as the Victorias Drawings, all centered on themes of childhood, birth, sexuality, mythology, and religion. Ossorio used a wax-resist technique that he developed after seeing it used in the work of Romanian surrealist Victor Brauner. After applying a light color wash to the paper, Ossorio would draw forms with wax, and then paint in watercolor, which would saturate all areas of the paper except those with wax-drawn shapes. He sent some of the works to Dubuffet, whom he had met and befriended a year earlier, having already been an admirer and collector of the latter’s works. Dubuffet saw the Victorias paintings within the framework of his own notions of art brut—a spontaneous and idiosyncratic approach to art making that stands as a corrective to the mimicry of the formally trained cultural avant-garde. Dubuffet was deeply enthusiastic and encouraging, and in 1951, Ossorio went to Paris and spent most of that year with him and his wife. When he returned, Ossorio purchased the East Hampton estate known as the Creeks, which he cultivated into “the Eighth Wonder of the Horticultural World.” He also agreed to house the Dubuffet’s entire collection of the Compagnie de l’Art Brut at the Creeks, where it stayed until 1962.

The relationship between Ossorio and Dubuffet proved vital for both artists, and so enthralled with Ossorio’s Victorias works was Dubuffet that he developed a new form of art historical writing to be able to describe them faithfully. As Minturn explains in his essay accompanying the exhibition catalogue, “When composing the book [on Ossorio], Dubuffet had many of the works he was writing about right in front of him, some of which had been executed just hours before. . . Dubuffet makes it clear that his study is not art history written from afar (in time or space), rather, it is art writing “on the spot,” and as such, much closer to journalistic reportage. He quickly transcribes Ossorio’s painterly performance . . . as if it were unfolding before our eyes. . . . Dubuffet successfully merge[d] studio practice with art writing, reminding us that, just as viewing a work of art should always be an act of re-creation experienced in the present tense, so too the act of writing about a work of art should be a literary re-enactment and re-performance of the visual work.”



Today's News

September 7, 2013

Arken show looks at Frida Kahlo’s work through a number of her most iconic self-portraits

John Singer Sargent masterpiece acquired by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Lauder, Gagosian, and Avedon Foundation collaborate to donate 74 works by Richard Avedon

Italy delays loan of Botticelli's "The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala" to Israeli museum

Christie's announces an online-only sale of prints by Kusama, Murakami and Nara

First London solo show by Swiss artist Liliane Tomasko opens at Timothy Taylor Gallery

"Alexander Calder: Avant-Garde in Motion" opens at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

Works by Picasso, Munch, Rembrandt, Basquiat and Warhol lead Sotheby's London Sale of Prints & Multiples

John Lennon & Yoko Ono interview up for sale at Amherst, NH-based auction house RR Auction

Portland Museum of Art opens Winslow Homer Civil War focused exhibition

The Hour of the Day of the Month of the Season: Jitish Kallat exhibits at Galerie Daniel Templon

Exhibition explores photographs as constantly shifting records of culture, history, and meaning

Thirty-three works dating from 1949 to 1953 by Alfonso Ossorio on view at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Untitled. announces second edition in architect designed pavilion on Miami Beach

Haus der Kunst announces generous donation of the Goetz Collection to the State of Bavaria

First solo exhibition of photography and sculpture by Alex Slade opens at Edward Cella Art + Architecture

Peking duck not all it's quacked up to be

Monumental grass structure housing Native American mythologies lands on London's Parade Ground

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Fever mounts as stunning statues found at Alexander The Great-era tomb

2.- Hi-tech underground scans reveal vast complex of monuments at Britain's Stonehenge

3.- National Geographic Museum opens exhibition featuring shark-munching Spinosaurus

4.- First major New York City exhibition to explore Vienna Actionism opens at Hauser & Wirth

5.- Elizabeth I 'airbrushed' for 18th century make-over and a bug is found in Edward VI

6.- Award winning Swedish director Daniel Fridell to direct Kalliope Films' Vincent Van Gogh biopic

7.- Comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Joan Miró's work opens at the Albertina

8.- Synchrotron radiation technology in art conservation: Science to the rescue of art

9.- Mona Kuhn's first solo exhibition in the US opens at Edwynn Houk Gallery

10.- Sotheby's announces details of its sales series for Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site