Hollis Taggart announces representation of three American artists active in the postwar era

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Hollis Taggart announces representation of three American artists active in the postwar era
Norman Carton (1908-1980), Chartre Summer #8904, 1952. Watercolor on paper, 19 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (49.5 x 64.8 cm).

NEW YORK, NY.- Hollis Taggart announced the representation of the estates of two artists – Sheila Isham and Norman Carton – along with the artist Albert Kotin. All three American painters worked primarily in abstraction, despite their very different lives and careers. Sheila Isham (born 1927) traveled extensively following the Second World War, leading to an abstract style that draws from various cultural influences. Following their immigration to the United States from Eastern Europe, Norman Carton (1908-1980) and Albert Kotin (1907-1980) both worked for different government art programs before becoming actively involved in the New York art scene of the 1940s and 1950s. For varying reasons, the contributions of all three artists have been under-recognized. Continuing the gallery’s commitment to promoting new narratives and scholarship about postwar American artists, Hollis Taggart will be presenting comprehensive exhibitions of the three artists over the next two years, beginning with a two-floor retrospective of Sheila Isham from February 9 through March 18, 2023. Additionally, from November 29 through December 4, 2022, the gallery will be presenting the work of all three artists in their booth at Art Miami (Booth AM319) alongside the postwar work of other American artists including Dusti Bongé, Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Irene Monat Stern, and Bob Thompson.

“We are very excited to share the works of Sheila Isham, Norman Carton, and Albert Kotin with audiences in Miami next week and in New York over the coming years,” said Hollis Taggart. “We’re particularly looking forward to contextualizing these artists within the broader narrative of postwar American art, and to displaying and studying them alongside other artists in our roster.”

Sheila Isham (born 1927) traveled extensively throughout her life, studying art movements across the globe and immersing herself in local art scenes, primarily in Asia and Europe. The artist’s abstractions draw on a wide range of influences from twentieth-century European avant-garde approaches to Washington Color School techniques; from ancient Chinese calligraphy, philosophy, and poetry, to Haitian animism and modes of Hindu and Buddhist tantric practices. Known primarily for her color field paintings, Isham’s work is in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, among others.

Norman Carton (1908-1980) was born in what is now Ukraine and moved to the US in 1922 where he spent most of his adult life. From 1939 to 1942, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project employed Carton as a muralist and easel artist. Throughout the 1940s, Carton exhibited and won prizes for his semi-abstract Expressionist and Surrealist paintings, finally finding his signature form of abstraction – defined by gesture, balance, and an engaging palette – in the mid-1950s. He was in the throes of the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York, showing at the Whitney (which purchased one of his paintings) in 1955-56, and hung alongside works by Joan Mitchell, Franz Kline, Adolph Gottlieb, among others. Carton’s work is also in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Hollis Taggart will present a major retrospective of the artist’s work in 2024.

Albert Kotin (1907-1980) was born in what is now Belarus and immigrated to the United States in 1908. In 1933, Kotin was employed under the first government art program, Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). Like Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning, Kotin was assigned to the murals division. After serving in the military as a cartography instructor, he studied at the Art Students League with Hans Hofmann from 1947 to 1951, becoming an active member of the early generation of Abstract Expressionist artists in New York. Kotin’s work has been exhibited at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (1947); Stable Gallery in New York (1951, 1953-1957); Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (1959); and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1963-64), among others.

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