Colophon for American Abstract Artists 60th Anniversary Print Portfolio 1997
Dimensions: sheet: 12 3/4 × 9 3/4 in. (32.4 × 24.8 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of American Abstract Artists, 2011
Object Number: 2011-183.1
About: American Abstract Artists has promoted and celebrated abstract and non-objective art since its founding in 1936. While American audiences were exposed to European avant-garde painting and sculpture in the 1913 Armory Show, abstract art fell out of favor during the late 1920s and the Depression-era 1930s, with many American artists turning to the representational styles of Social Realism and Regionalism. There were few exhibition or publication opportunities for abstract art during these years. This lack was addressed through a series of regular meetings and studio showings organized in 1936 by students of Hans Hofmann (1880–1966) at the Art Students League in New York. The group’s first formal exhibition was held in 1937 in the Squibb Galleries at 745 Fifth Avenue, and just three years after its founding, A.A.A. had grown to 53 artist members from around the country including Josef Albers (1888–1976), Ilya Bolotowsky (1907–1981), and Giorgio Cavallon (1904–1989). The organization’s stated purpose was “to unite abstract artists residing in the United States, to bring before the public their individual works, and in every possible way foster public appreciation for this direction in painting and sculpture.”
To this day, American Abstract Artists continues to organize annual exhibitions and publish journals and print portfolios. In 2011, the Delaware Art Museum received an edition of the 1997 60th Anniversary Print Portfolio consisting of 40 original lithographs, eight of which are on display. The prints reflect the diversity of the membership: artists who work in a variety of disciplines—drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture—and through a range of styles. This anniversary portfolio serves to document the importance of this group and the lasting influence it has had on the admiration of abstract art.
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