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Lines & Myths: Abstraction in American Art, 1941-1951

November 5, 1992 – January 20, 1993


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Artists included in this exhibition: William Baziotes, Byron Browne, Peter Busa, Dorothy Dehner, Jimmy Ernst, Arshile Gorky, Gerome Kamrowski, Norman Lewis, Seymour Lipton, Ibram Lassaw, Boris Margo, Gordon Onslow-Ford, Alfonso Ossorio, Vincent Pepi, Andre Racz, Mark Rothko, Louis Schanker, Charles Seliger, and Theodoros Stamos

Lines & Myths: Abstraction in American Art, 1941-1951 explores the manner in which artists experimented with Surrealist automatism during the 1940s - an era of complex growth and transition which proved instrumental in the genesis of abstract expressionism.

Linear forms and mythic references dominated much of the art created by the American avant-garde during the 1940s. Though influenced by the vocabulary of abstract Surrealism, American artists developed an aesthetic distinctive from that of pure Surrealism with a more meditated approach that addressed both painterly and iconographic concerns. Characteristically, the art consists of primitive images and archaic forms in undefined and often aquatic environments.