Helen Frankenthaler, Quattrocento, 1984, acrylic on canvas, 142 x 159 cm



21 Americans

6 May to 21 June 2011


Bernard Jacobson Gallery, New York, is pleased to announce their upcoming exhibition: “21 Americans,” opening on May 6th and continuing until June 21st.

This is the second exhibition for the gallery in this location and features a selection of the American artists that Bernard Jacobson has shown and represented in the London and New York Galleries since 1969.

Predominately abstract, the exhibition underscores the importance of this movement in 20th century American art and includes works that range from the New York Schools of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field to the California Light and Space movement.

The earliest piece in the exhibition is a work on paper from 1957 by the California artist Sam Francis. Other earlier pieces include a large scale painting by Norman Bluhm from 1962, a Larry Poons painting from 1967 and a Jules Olitski monochrome painting, Radical Love, from 1972. 

Robert Motherwell is featured in this show with a painting from the “Open Series.” Asked how this series was inspired, Motherwell explained that after wrestling for so long with the problem of creating unity in a painting, it occurred to him “to go the other way” and “to begin with unity and then, within unity, create (through dividing) disparate elements.” The painting, shown here, Untitled, Ultramarine and Ochre Open, 1973, displays all the spontaneity of Motherwell’s approach to the drawn line and his purely intuitional response to the word “Open”. 

Helen Frankenthaler is represented here by Quattrocento from 1984. Her ground breaking use of the stain soak technique, that unites the image with the surface of the painting, influenced painters who were to follow, including Kenneth Noland represented here by a late painting, Chirp, from 1998. 

A fire wax and transfer work from 1994 by Robert Rauschenberg, aptly titled Treasure, fuses found objects “treasures” from the New York streets, gargoyles and personal memorabilia within an essentially abstract format. The inclusion of everyday objects was a precursor for the Pop movement that followed, of which Roy Lichtenstein’s enamel on stainless steel of water lilies from 1992 and Tom Wesselmann’s still life in laser cut steel from 1993, are examples in this show.

Also included in the exhibition are two works by Frank Stella from the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  Exemplary works from this period, they are a mixed media paper collage, Michael Kohlhaas, panel 6, from 1999 and a spray painted cast aluminum sculpture, Hacilar Level Ic, from 2001.

The California “Light and Space” movement has long been a focus for Mr. Jacobson and he has consistently exhibited the work of Larry Bell. Relying on the ambient environment to influence the perception of the eye through color and light, Bell’s “Cube” sculptures, whose surfaces work both as mirrors and windows, are a vital part of this tradition.

Other California artists include, Joe Goode, rooted more firmly in the pop tradition and the abstract artist, Ed Moses.

The show is brought current by two prominent abstract artists, the painter Shirley Kaneda and the sculptor and installation artist, Jessica Stockholder.

Notes to Editors:
The Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969 and is a major dealer specializing in modern and contemporary British and international art. The London gallery is situated in the central district of Mayfair. The gallery has two exhibition floors and a graphics department all within 6 Cork Street. Bernard Jacobson Gallery opened a new space in New York at 17 East 71st Street in March of this year.


Listings Information for New York
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 17 East 71st Street, 3rd Floor, New York NY, 10021
Tel: 212 879 1100   

Opening Hours
Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm
July and August Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm