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Defining the Edge: Early American Abstraction Selections from the Collection of Dr. Peter B. Fischer

March 26 – May 30, 1998


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Artists included in this exhibition: Rosalind Bengelsdorf, Benjamin Benno, Charles Biederman, Ilya Bolotowsky, Byron Browne, Giorgio Cavallon, Manierre Dawson, Burgoyne Diller, Werner Drewes, John Ferren, Suzy Frelinghuysen, Albert E. Gallatin, Fritz Glarner, Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Dwinell Grant, Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, Hananiah Harari, Carl Holty, Harry Holtzman, Charles Howard, Frederick Kann, Paul Kelpe, Michael Loew, George L.K. Morris, Irene Rice Pereira, Ad Reinhardt, Theodore Roszak, Louis Schanker, John Sennhauser, Charles Shaw, Esphyr Slobodkina, Leon Polk Smith, Louis Stone, Albert Swinden, John von Wicht, Charmion von Wiegand, Vaclav Vytlacil, Jean Xceron, and Wilfred Zogbaum

This exhibition features masterworks of progressive American abstraction with a concentration on works representing geometric abstraction from the 1930s and 1940s. The exhibition will include more than forty museum-caliber paintings and constructions by many of the most significant American modernists.

Over the last twenty-five years, Dr. Peter B. Fischer has assembled a collection that is regarded by most as the finest of its kind. The earliest work in the collection is a 1910 Manierre Dawson painting entitled Prognostic. This painting, one in a series of three, is the earliest American example of a non-objective painting. Rare cubist works by Arshile Gorky, John Graham, and Ad Reinhardt are contrasted with non-objective works from the 1930s by Bengelsdorf, Diller, Drewes, Ferren, Gallatin, Holtzman, Kelpe, Morris, Shaw, Slobodkina, and Swinden. The 1940s are represented with masterworks by Frelinghuysen, Polk Smith, Von Wiegand, and Xceron. The Fischer collection also features exceptional constructions from the 1930s by Biederman, Diller, Pereira, and Roszak. The most contemporary work in the exhibition is a rare 1954 Fritz Glarner painting entitled Relational Painting 73.