Monday, September 17, 2012

"Signs & Symbols" At The Whitney Museum

"Signs & Symbols" at the Whitney Museum of American Art focuses on the work of postwar American artists before the triumph of the "all-over" canvases of Pollock, de Kooning and other abstract expressionists. Following World War II, artists and sculptors created works filled with symbols and calligraphy influenced by African, Native American, Eastern and surrealist art. I was particularly drawn to the "oceanic" forms of painters Theodoros Stamos and William Baziotes, the scrap metal totemic "Kabuki Dancer" by sculptor Richard Stankiewicz, and the mask imagery in Adolph Gottlieb's "Vigil," 1948 (above). The exhibition provides an illuminating look at an important period in the development of American abstract art. 

"Signs & Symbols" will run through Oct. 28 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St., NYC, (212) 570-3600,


Michael The Molar Maven said...

I'm no expert on art - far from it - but I'm puzzled by the similarities between Native American Art and African Art. These groups seem to be mutually exclusive. Please feel free to educate me further.

Jeff Tone said...

Here are some similarities expressed in the art: reverence for ancestors, use of the art in tribal rituals, masks as an art form, spirituality in the art.