Washington, D.C.

“Transcendence: Washington, D.C.”

Baumgartner Galleries

The Washington Color School was formulated by Clement Greenberg around the work of Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. Furthermore, because many of his ideas about “post painterly abstraction” were also articulated through their work, most of the critical dialogue about the school became focused on post-Cubist space, color staining, and formalist structure. As a consequence, work by other Washington abstractionists like Leon Berkowitz, Howard Mehring, and Thomas Downing was similarly characterized, often overlooking other salient features of their art.

Though small (only 10 works, from 1960 to ’87), this exhibition continued the current reassessment of Modernist abstraction begun by the L.A. County Museum exhibition “The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890–1985.” Specifically, “Transcendence: Washington, D.C.” attempted to posit a non-Greenbergian context for abstraction through an

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