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

    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, 2009

    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Avenue
    May 4–September 21, 2008

    Saint Louis Art Museum
    One Fine Arts Drive Forest Park
    October 19, 2008–January 11, 2009

    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.