Good abstract art is more than just random splatters of paint on a canvas. (The bad stuff gives anyone who’s ever spilled paint hope for fame and notoriety someday.) Abstract art shows an artist’s energy and emotion, and it leaves room for the viewer to bring their own perspective to the piece. You can learn more about two lesser-known but talented artists from New York’s postwar era at the Jewish Museum (1109 5th Avenue) at the “From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945–1952” exhibit. It runs through February 1, and it’s a thought-provoking look at two different approaches to Abstract Expressionism.

Overlooked but Remembered

This exhibit explores the parallels between these two artists who never got the critical acclaim of other, similar artists of their time. (It’s interesting to note that Lee Krasner was married to famous abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, but her work never received the same attention as her husband’s.) Both Lewis and Krasner’s work reflect similar themes. Their chosen color palettes, scale, and intensity create a visual conversation between the two that isn’t often seen in other artists’ work.

From the Margins Exhibit 1

The Influence of Space

The Jewish Museum has done an excellent job of playing up the dialogue created by the two similar artists. Their styles were both influenced not only by their marginalized places in the time, but also, their physical workspaces. Many artists of the period created massive works, but both Krasner and Lewis had only small spaces to work in. The result is highly focused artwork with tremendous vitality packed into the smaller space allowed. It’s well worth seeing!

From the Margins Exhibit 2

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Sea you soon!

The Seastreak Family



Filed Under: “From the Margins”