new-york

Esteban Vicente

Emmerich Gallery

It grows steadily more apparent that the first generation of Abstract Expressionist painters worked within fairly identifiable imagistic sectors: insect abstraction, calligraphic figuration and gestural painting, free grid formation, quintessential landscape (“earth-horizon-sky”), field painting, automatic meander and still several other “iconic” subdivisions. Certain artists could easily appear in several areas. Nearly all first generation Abstract Expressionists went through a period of insect abstraction in the 1940s. And Rothko, for example, may easily be viewed as a field painter or one who works in the “quintessential landscape” format. This, of course, says nothing about quality. Nor can I, in the limits of this review, attack the problem of why these iconic sets appeared. That is a subject for a broad study into the iconography of Abstract Expressionism which, until now, has only

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