Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

Inspired by AbEx:NY? Here’s some more ways to learn about Abstract Expressionism…

September 13th, 2011

 Abstract Expressionist: New York took place at the AGO from May 28 – September 04 2011 and featured the works of Jackson, Pollock, Kline and more. The collection has now returned to its home at the MoMa in New York, but for those of you who are still craving a taste of Abstract Expressionism fix this blog post provides some suggestions.

Distraught that the AGO’s fantastic  AbEx:NY show has closed its doors? Why not explore these extra ways of learning more about the awesome Abstract Expressionists

1. At the theatre

Red, directed by Kim Collier, is a play about Abstract Expression artist Mark Rothko. Showing from November 19 to December 17 at the Bluma Appel Theatre, it’s the chance to see a Tony Award-winning interpretation of Rothko in the late 1950s.

“In his Bowery studio in New York City, Mark Rothko is working on a group of murals for an expensive restaurant. His assistant, Ken, bluntly questions the artist’s theories on painting and his giving in to such a commercial project instead of putting all of his focus on creating a masterpiece.     

2.  Online

Learn more about colour field painting, and which Abstract Expressionist Artists used this technique in their work. Click here

Create an image in the style of Jackson Pollock using this fun web tool. Click here

Read an interesting list of recommended books about Abstract Expressionism. Click here

3.  In the Gallery

Paintings on Paper: The Drawings of Robert Motherwell – At the AGO until December 11

Abstract Expressionist artist Robert Motherwell called paper the most “sympathetic of all painting surfaces,” remarking that “it’s a struggle to get a canvas to have the beautiful surface that paper, by nature, already has.” Motherwell drew incessantly, often “painting” on paper to explore new ideas and work through pictorial issues. His drawings reinforce his belief that ideas, emotions and the subconscious can be communicated through the gestural lines and bold forms of abstract art.

Painting on Paper: The Drawings of Robert Motherwell unveils for the first time one of the largest public collections of Motherwell drawings. The works on display were selected primarily from the 74 drawings and paintings acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1998 through a generous gift/purchase arrangement with the Dedalus Foundation, New York. The foundation was set up by Motherwell to place his works in museums and to support exhibitions, research and scholarly programs.

The exhibition covers the trajectory of Motherwell’s work over four decades and is organized around key themes to demonstrate how motifs took root in his imagination and, over time, were revisited, refined and reinterpreted.

4.  In your ears

Download this fascinating talk given by Robert Motherwell at OCAD in 1970.  This lecture is Robert Motherwell personified: charismatic, erudite and open – as he reveals insight after insight in regards to Abstract Expressionism, his artistic practice and his artworks.

This collection of interviews focuses on Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century and the role she played as patron to the New York Abstract Expressionists.

If you’re a fan of Abstract Expressionism maybe you can suggest some other great ways of learning more about the art and artists. Please feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions.


Tags: , ,

One Response to “Inspired by AbEx:NY? Here’s some more ways to learn about Abstract Expressionism…”

  1. Robert says:

    I was very inspired by the show. Loved it. Loved seeing the masters. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.