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Harry Rand

(b New York, March 14, 1903; d Easthampton, NY, March 4, 1974).

American painter and sculptor. One of the few members of the New York School born in New York, Gottlieb studied at the Art Students League under Robert Henri and John Sloan in 1920–21. His teachers communicated a dark brushy approach to painting that, although highly unfashionable at a time when Cubism ruled modernity, nevertheless established the defining characteristics of what became Abstract Expressionism. The next year Gottlieb travelled through France and Germany, studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, schooling that may have re-enforced an otherwise reactionary approach to painting. Following his return to New York in 1923, he attended the Parsons School of Design and Cooper Union Institute. The most widely travelled of the New York painters (rivalled only by Franz Kline), having been to Paris, Munich, and Berlin before even beginning advanced formal studies, Gottlieb was the least provincial of his colleagues. The breadth of his training and art-historical knowledge served him well in his own teaching, his principal means of support during the mid-1930s. His first one-man exhibition was in ...

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David Anfam

(b New York, Jan 29, 1905; d New York, July 4, 1970).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer. He was a major exponent of Abstract Expressionism whose reductive idiom employing large chromatic expanses exerted a considerable impact on abstract art after World War II. His writings and pronouncements also contributed to the accompanying theoretical debates during and after the 1960s about meaning in non-figurative expression.

After studies at the Art Students League, New York, in 1922 and 1929 Newman destroyed most of his basically realistic initial output and stopped painting by about 1939–40. He explained that the world historical crisis then had rendered traditional subject-matter and styles invalid, necessitating the search for a new, awe-inspiring content appropriate to the moment. A series of essays and catalogue introductions throughout the 1940s reiterated this aesthetic quest. Their polemical stance focused upon the need for a break with outworn European traditions (including such native continuations as American Scene painting), chaos as a wellspring of human creativity, and the irrelevance of beauty in times of terror. Instead, he resurrected the venerable concept of the Sublime for a metaphysical ‘art which through symbols will catch the basic truth of life which is its sense of tragedy’ (‘The Plasmic Image’, unpublished essay, ...

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(b Asheville, NC, April 10, 1924; d Port Clyde, ME, Jan 5, 2010).

American painter and sculptor. He served in the US Air Force from 1942 to 1946 and after his discharge took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. There he was taught by Ilya Bolotowsky, learning about Neo-plasticism and Mondrian; he also had one course with Albers family, §1, whom he found rigid and doctrinaire but from whom he learnt about Bauhaus theories. During this period he also developed an interest in Paul Klee’s work, especially in his use of colour. In 1948, again under the G.I. Bill, Noland travelled to Paris. There he studied sculpture in Ossip Zadkine’s studio and, guided by him, also painted, though Zadkine’s Cubist aesthetic seemed a little old-fashioned to him after his Bauhaus training. While in Paris he also saw paintings by Picasso, Miró, and Matisse and in 1949 had his first one-man show at the Galerie Raymond Creuze....