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Adam M. Thomas

(b Bronx, New York, Oct 29, 1927).

American painter and filmmaker. A bodybuilder, gymnast and budding photographer in high school, Leslie served in the United States Coast Guard in 1945–6. He studied briefly at the Art Students League and then at New York University on the GI Bill from 1947 to 1949. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Leslie emerged as an experimental filmmaker, creating such films as Directions: A Walk after the War Games (1946), and a preeminent second-generation Abstract Expressionist painter. Leslie developed a slashing, gestural style of painting in which splashes and free brushwork are set off against broad strips and rectangular patches of color, as evident in Pythoness (1959; Muncie, IN, Ball State U. Mus. A.). Based on the strength of his abstract paintings, critic Clement Greenberg included Leslie in the New Talent exhibition at the Kootz Gallery, New York, in 1950. Leslie was part of the seminal Ninth Street Show...

Article

W. Jackson Rushing

(b St Paul, MN, June 8, 1916; d New York, Oct 25, 1992).

American painter, sculptor, and photographer. His father, Nathaniel Pousette-Dart (1886–1965), was a painter and critic. Pousette-Dart grew up near Valhalla, NY, and moved to New York in 1936, where, as a self-taught artist, he had his first one-man show in 1941. He taught at the New School for Social Research (1959–61), the School of Visual Arts (1964), and Columbia University (1968–9), all in New York; at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY (1970–74), and at the Art Students League, New York (1980–85).

Pousette-Dart’s early paintings, typified by Desert (1940; New York, MOMA), are a synthesis of Cubism, the organic Surrealism of Miró, archaic pictographs, and indigenous American and African art. The zoomorphs, totemic forms, and elemental signs of his early paintings and sculptures are related to an interest in a Jungian primal consciousness. The youngest of the Abstract Expressionists, he was the first to paint on a heroic scale, as in ...