Fifty Years of Abstraction at the National Academy, 1956 – 2006

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This publication, together with its coinciding exhibition, seeks to unveil the pluralistic ways in which abstraction developed after 1950, which will be revealed by the grouping of the works stylistically and thematically into three general sections: gesture, geometry, and introspection. As opposed to the establishing rigorous and constricting epithets, the sections are presented here merely as a loose guide to help organize the innumerable ways in which artists have continued to create abstract art over the last fifty years. These themes should help to illuminate the pluralism that has been, and continues to be, the abstract impulse.

Marshall Price’s text covers the history of abstraction at the National Academy both with regard to its exhibition in the Academy’s annuals and the election of abstract artists to its membership. Furthermore Price’s writing also reveals the process that its members went through to finally feature modern art at the Academy.

The exhibition ran at the National Academy from August 1 – December 30, 2007.

Marshall Price is the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Academy Museum. Annette Blaugrund, Ph.D., is the Director of the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts.