Abstract Expressionism: Alternative Histories and Expanded Conversations
/ Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art
Abstract Expressionism is typically seen as a decisively American alliance of ruggedly independent, stridently self-professed, and always male artist-heroes, whose signature painterly styles are marked by extreme individualism, the absence of external referents, and the cultivation of universal resonance. This model excludes the many artists who also practiced abstraction and moved in avant-garde circles during the mid-20th century, but who—due to gender, race, chosen medium, or geographic location—operated on the critical margins of Abstract Expressionism. Explore these alternative histories of American modernism through a selection of artists from SAM’s collection.
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Image: Monolithic Impasse, 1964, Paul Horiuchi, casein on mulberry paper mounted to canvas, 77 9/16 x 78 9/16 in., Gift of the Seattle Art Museum Guild, 79.6, ©? Estate of Paul Horiuchi.