George McNeil

M. Knoeder & Company

George McNeil belongs to the brilliant generation of American artists born in the first decade of this century—a generation that includes Willem de Kooning, Alfred Jensen, Alice Neel, Fairfield Porter, and Myron Stout. This group had to survive devastating hardships such as two world wars and a depression before coming into its own in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. Perhaps because of such obstacles, it is a generation that took its time developing. McNeil is no exception. He attended lectures at the Art Students League in the ‘20s, studied with Hans Hoffman in the early ‘30s, participated in the WPA project in the middle ‘30s, helped form the American Abstract Artists group in the late ‘30s, served in the Navy in World War II, began teaching in the late ‘40s, and began showing publicly in 1950. During the ‘50s, inspired by Jackson Pollock, he began working with canvases placed on the floor.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.