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Abstract Expressionism (Movements in Modern Art)
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Abstract Expressionism: The International Context
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Abstract Expressionism: Other Politics

The Artist's Mentor, Ian Jackman
The Artist's Mentor,
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Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Abstract Expressionists “G...-I...-”
for history of art and social studies classrooms.

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Arshile Gorky

Adolph Gottlieb

Hans Hofmann

Untitled (A Retrospective of Drawings), Art Print
(A Retrospective of Drawings),
Art Print

Arshile Gorky, née Vosdanig Adoian
b. 4-15-1904; Khorgom, Vilayet of Van, Ottoman Turkey
d. 7-21-1948; Connecticut (suicide)

Arshile Gorky arrived in America in 1920, at the age of sixteen, after suffering through the Armenian Genocide.

Arshile Gorky quotes ~
• “Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint.”
• “Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes ... Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”
• “Art must always remain earnest... Art must be serious, no sarcasm, comedy. One does not laugh at a loved one.”
• “I seek a form or language which will express my ideas for our time.”
• “My recollections of Armenia open new visions for me. My art is therefore a growth art where forms, pines, shapes, memories of Armenia germinate, breathe, expand and contract, multiply and thereby create new paths for exploration.”

Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work
Ararat DVD

The Seer, Serigraph, Adolph Gottlieb
Vert, 1964

Adolph Gottlieb
b. 3-14-1903; New York City, NY
d. 3-4-1974

Adolph Gottlieb left high school in 1920 to take classes with John Sloan and Robert Henri at the Art Students League in New York.

Adolph Gottlieb quotes ~
• “When I was a boy studying art I became aware of and accepted the difficulties of the modern artist. By the age of 18 I clearly understood that the artist in our society cannot expect to make a living from art; must live in the midst of a hostile environment; cannot communicate through his art with more than a few people; and if his work is significant, cannot achieve recognition until the end of his life, if he is lucky, and more likely posthumously.”

Adolph Gottlieb: A Retrospective

Song of the Nightingale, Art Print, Hans Hofmann
Song of the Nightingale,
Art Print

Hans Hofmann
b. 3-21-1880; Weibenburg, Bavaria, Germany
d. 2-17-1966; NYC

Hans Hofmann had a gift for science, art and teaching, but chose art as his means of expression, and teaching became his means of support before his art was recognized.

Hans Hofmann quotes ~
• “Being an artist and being a teacher are two conflicting things. When I paint, I improvise… I deny theory and method and rely only on empathy and feeling… In teaching, it is just the opposite, I must account for every line, shape and color. One is forced to explain the inexplicable.”
• “As a teacher I approach my students purely with the human desire to free them from all scholarly inhibitions, and I tell them, ‘Painters must speak through paint — not through words.’”
• “The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.”
• “Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.”
• “It is not the form that dictates the color, but the color that brings out the form.”
• “Colors must fit together as pieces in a puzzle or cogs in a wheel.”
• “When the impulses which stir us to profound emotion are integrated with the medium of expression, every interview of the soul may become art. This is contingent upon mastery of the medium.”
• “To worship the product and ignore its development leads to dilettantism and reaction.”
• “There is a world of visual beauty open to the one willing to undergo the practice and striving necessary to the understanding of its language. ... This world is a important as culturally as is the world of words or of music. My ideal is to form and to paint as Schubert sings his songs and as Beethoven creates his world in sounds. That is to say, creation of one’s own inner world through the same human and artistic discipline. ... An inner sensation can find external expression only through spiritual realization.”
• “The impulse of nature, fused through the personality of the artist by laws arising from the particular nature of the medium, produces the rhythm and the personal expression of a work. Then the life of the composition becomes a spiritual unity.”
• “The encompassing, creative mind recognizes no boundaries. The mind has ever brought new spheres under its control. ... All our experiences culminate in the perception of the universe as a whole, with man as its center.”
• “Creation is dominated by three absolutely different factors: First, nature, which works upon us by its laws; second, the artist, who creates a spiritual contact with nature and his materials; third, the medium of expression through which the artist translates his inner world. Of those three components only one, the medium, is material. ”

Hans Hofmann: Revised and Expanded

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