Willem de Kooning, Gotham News, 1955, oil on canvas, 69 x 79".


“Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940–1976”

Albright-Knox Art Gallery
1285 Elmwood Avenue
February 13–May 31

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue
May 4–September 21

Saint Louis Art Museum
One Fine Arts Drive Forest Park
October 19–January 11

Curated by Norman L. 158eeblatt

Although Abstract Expressionism is hardly undertheorized, this exhibition nevertheless promises a fresh take on those fabled denizens of Tenth Street. Featuring fifty seminal works by thirty-one stalwarts, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, and Lee Bontecou, the show contextualizes postwar cultural production between the Holocaust and the blithe likes of Levittown. By placing unprecedented emphasis on contemporaneous academic criticism and the mass media, this show—organized in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and with a catalogue featuring contributions by curator Norman L. Kleeblatt, Mark Godfrey, Caroline A. Jones, and others—claims the persistent centrality of social history.