Post War American painters chose abstract expressionism

(Neil Welliver image)

 

 

“See it Loud!”

It’s the theme of three floors of American abstract expressionists.

In the National Academy Museum seven American post-war painters are featured in, “See It Loud.

These American painters:

∙ Leland Bell

. Paul Georges

. Peter Heinemann

. Albert Kresch

. Paul Resika

. Stanley Lewis

. Neil Welliver

Displayed in this 19th Century mansion, turned Museum, is a diverse collection of each artists’ work.

Influenced in part by Hans Hofmann and Josef Albers, these painters continued as abstract expressionists forsaking the more popular European expressionisms.

The works cover the mundane to the grand; for example, self portraits, dining, outdoors, the club scene, the prairie and the streets. Like Leland Bell, Croquet Party, 1965, oil on canvas, is about families standing on a green lawn in khakis and Bermuda shorts preparing for a croquet match – mallets in hand.

And Paul Georges, floor to almost ceiling canvases of lilies and roses in bright yellows, green and red; and his self-portrait in studio, 1959, oil on linen. Or Neil Welliver landscapes which captured natures’ dry streams, marshes, snow-covered hills and riverbeds.

The painters may seem to have similar taste but their differing portrayals lends itself to variety and intrigue.

A vivid blue sky with cascading clouds hovers over the prairie, in Kresch’s Landscape, 1992, oil on canvas; yet a mixture of yellow, green and brown makes the barren landscape, almost evening.  While Lewis’, Two Houses in Leeds, 2004, oil on canvas, also under a blue sky gives a roadside view of two homes in the country.

Resika, though, added a little more to his paintings of nature – nudes. He had half draped and fully dressed female figures posing standing or reclining in lush colored landscape of tree trunks, dry branches or around potted plants and bouquets.

These painters continued their realism into the 21st Century, except for Leland Bell that died in 1991. Georges, Welliver and Heinemann died in 2002, 2005 and 2010 respectively.

Welliver believed, “If you give yourself to a place you begin to feel its power.”

The exhibition runs through January 26, at the Museum on 1083 Fifth Avenue.

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