past exhibitions
Abstract Expressionism: Then and Now
5.5.12 – 8.19.12

Hodge & Temporary Exhibition Galleries


exhibition and lecture is sponsored by
friends of modern art

Drawing on works in the FIA permanent collection, along with important loans from regional collections, this exhibition surveys the American art movement Abstract Expressionism from its origins in the postwar period to the latest developments in the 21st century. The Abstract Expressionists, a group of artist who emerged in New York City in the 1940s, broke with the European painting tradition by creating canvases that did not represent recognizable subjects or familiar themes of religion or history. Artists as diverse as Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner created works in the mid-20th century that were characterized by powerfully expressive techniques, emphasizing the individual's experience of the world.

Artists from subsequent generations sought to not only build on what the Abstract Expressionists achieved, but to add to the dialogue. Artists such as Larry Poons, Robert Goodnough, and Jules Olitski continued experimentation with texture and color to maximize the medium's emotional and expressive potential. Third-wave Abstract Expressionist painters, including Roy Lerner, Stanley Boxer, and Joseph Drapell, also built on the earlier movement, using paints that they invented through working with paint maker Sam Golden, developing new techniques and forms of expression.


Abstract Expressionism: Then and Now was organized by the Flint Institute of Arts, including loans from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.
Elegy to the Spanish Republic #173

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American, b. Italy, 1937
Primavera #12
oil on canvas, 1993
42 x 72 inches
Gift of Jesse Karp, 2010.237
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