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Seeing Burgoyne Diller

THE AMERICAN NEOPLASTIC PAINTER Burgoyne Diller died in 1965 at the rather early age of 59. Diller, as one of the group of young New York artists encountering Mondrian’s paintings at the Washington Square Gallatin Collection exhibitions in the 1930s, had been one of the very first to welcome the full impact of Mondrian’s Neoplasticism. He spent his mature career as an abstractionist, an avant-garde artist who, as head of the Mural Project of the New York W.P.A., publicly championed abstract painting and was personally responsible for boosting the careers of the then-unknown Gorky and de Kooning, among others. His subsequent postwar retreat into almost two decades of illness and increasing seclusion from the New York art world, in New Jersey, caused his career to be largely neglected.

Of course, some have always been aware of Diller, even though they sidestepped him. The “trouble” with him,

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