Abstract Expressionism Art William Ronald

"William Ronald, (born Aug. 13, 1926, Stratford, Ont.—died Feb. 9, 1998, Barrie, Ont.), Canadian painter who was the driving force behind the formation in 1953 of Painters Eleven, a group that introduced abstraction to Canadian art. Ronald studied with Jock Macdonald at the Ontario College of Art in 1951 before briefly attending Hans Hofmann’s school in New York City the following year. Ronald embraced the contemporary, international style of Abstract Expressionism, and his monumental canvases were a striking departure from the then-prevailing approach of the Group of Seven, who painted folkloric subjects featuring Canadian themes in an earnest, traditional manner. Originally based in Toronto, Ronald visited New York City frequently before moving there in 1955. Several of his works were shown there in the Kootz Gallery, and others were purchased by the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Art Institute of Chicago. After a decade in New York City, he returned to Toronto. During a period of relative artistic inactivity, Ronald developed a flamboyant public persona and worked as an arts broadcaster on television and radio. He resumed painting in the early 1970s on a prolific scale, partly to fund his lavish lifestyle, but his extravagantly self-hyped works of this period, featuring an increasing preoccupation with Action painting, did not enhance his reputation. Ronald’s works from the middle and late 1950s were considered his most significant--large, ambitious panels of great spontaneity and exuberance, showing the influence of Willem de Kooning but featuring bold central images."(britannica.com)


Mircea Paul Goreniuc

 Mircea Paul Goreniuc - Romanian born American sculptor
Master of Art
Master of Fine Art
California USA


Alice Rahon

Alice Phillipot (later Paalen and Rahon) (8 June 1904 – September 1987) was a French/Mexican poet and artist, whose work contributed to the beginning of abstract expression in Mexico. She began as a surrealist poet in Europe, but began painting in Mexico. She was a prolific artist from the late 1940s to the 1960s, exhibiting frequently in Mexico and the United States, with a wide circle of friends in these two countries. Her work remained tied to surrealism, but was also innovative including abstract elements and the use of new techniques such as sgraffito and the use of sand for texture. She became isolated in her later life due to health issues, and except for retrospectives at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in 1986 and at the Museo de Arte Moderno in 2009 and 2014, has been largely forgotten despite her influence on Mexican modern art.

Rahon's early artistic work was in poetry, often writing about scenes and landscapes from her childhood, as well as about her immobility and nostalgia.However, after arriving in Mexico, she began to paint, firstly in satercolours, inspired by the colour she encountered in Mexico. Most of her later work was in oils, but she also created drawings, collages and objects. The main influences in her work are surrealism, poetry, her travels and Mexico. Her work has been described as primitive and intensely poetic, “breathing with and inner life.”Her paintings have some link to surrealism but are also tied to her experiences in Mexico and her use of colour, light and the appearance of landscapes show influence from poetry. Influence from cave paintings and tribal art from her travels can also be seen. Her works were considered mature from the beginning, with abstract elements (not accepted in Mexico at the time) but still representing something concrete, almost always natural phenomena. Her surrealist influence was mostly from Paalen, with important early influences being Moraines, Rendez-vod de vivieres and Cristales del espacio. However, she is also classed with other surrealist artists from Europe in Mexico, such as Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington .Unlike these two, she did not confine herself to oils but experimented with techniques, especially those related to texture, showing influence from Rufino Tamayo.

Her themes include landscapes, elements from myths, legends, Mexican festivals, and elements of nature, along with mythical cities (which represent introspective worlds) and homage to various artists that she admired. Water appeared often, both in form and as the color blue. She made series of paintings related to rivers, similar to those created by Paul Klee titled El Nilo, Rio Papaloapan, Rio Papagayos and Encuentro de Rivieras (painted many years later).She created paintings to honor Giorgio de Chirico, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Joan Miró and Pablo Neruda .Two dedicated to Frida Kahlo include La balada de Frida Kahlo (made shortly after Frida's death), as well as Frida aux yeux d’hirondelle in 1956, which was reworked a decade later.

Agostino Bonalumi

Agostino Bonalumi (July 10, 1935, Vimercate – September 18, 2013, Desio) was an Italian painter, draughtsman and sculptor.
Bonalumi studied technical and mechanical drawing, and exhibited his first works at the “Premio Nazionale Città di Vimercate” (hors concours) in 1948, when he was just thirteen years old.He held his first solo show at the Galleria Totti, Milan, in 1956. In 1958 he began working with Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, holding a group exhibition at the Galleria Pater, Milan, which was followed by further shows in Rome, Milan and Lausanne, the foundation of Azimuth magazine and his participation in exhibitions at the Azimut gallery.He started developing the idea of what he would call “pittura – oggetto” (painting-object), following the idea to go beyond the canvas started by their mentor Lucio Fontana. In 1959 he held his first solo show outside Italy in Rotterdam. In 1960 he was one of the founders of the international Nouvelle École Européenne (NEE) movement in Lausanne and his solo exhibition “Agostino Bonalumi. Recent Paintings, Sculptures and Drawings” opened at the New Vision Centre Gallery in London.

 Arturo Schwarz began collecting his works and, in February 1965, organised a Bonalumi exhibition in his gallery in Milan.
He had strong links with the German art scene, thanks to the interest of Udo Kultermann in his work (since 1960) and his collaboration with the Galerie M.E. Thelen in Essen.
He also had assiduous contacts and links with the international Zero movement (both in the Netherlands and Germany), documented by major exhibitions such as “Zero” in London, 1964, and the touring exhibition “ZERO Avantgarde”, which began in Lucio Fontana’s studio in Milan in 1965. 1965 marked the start of a long period of collaboration with Renato Cardazzo, director of the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice and the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan. He was Bonalumi’s sole agent for many years and, in 1973, supervised the publication of a lengthy monograph on the artist by Edizioni del Naviglio, written by Gillo Dorfles.In 1966 he was invited to take part in the 33rd Venice Biennale, where he exhibited a selection of his works in the same room as Paolo Scheggi, while in 1970 he had his own personal room at the 35th Venice Biennale (and a feature written on him in the catalogue by Luciano Caramel), in which he also installed some large environmental sculptures.
In 1967 he was invited to the São Paulo Biennial and the Biennial of Young Artists in Paris. This was followed by a period of study and work in northern Africa and America, where he lived for a while in New York. It was here that he held his first solo show in the United States: “Agostino Bonalumi. Painting–Constructions”, presented at the Galeria Bonino in 1967.

 During this period, Bonalumi embarked on his own particular course of painting and environmental sculpture, which unfolded over the decades in some fundamental stages: in 1967, Blu abitabile (Inhabitable Blue) created for “Lo spazio dell’immagine” exhibition in Foligno (and exhibited again in 1970 in the “Vitalità del negativo” show in Rome); in 1968, Grande Nero (Big Black) at the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund; in 1979, as part of the “Pittura Ambiente” exhibition curated by Francesca Alinovi and Renato Barilli in the Palazzo Reale in Milan, Dal giallo al bianco e dal bianco al giallo (From Yellow to White and from White to Yellow). More recently, Ambiente bianco – Spazio trattenuto e spazio invaso (White Environment – Detained Space and Invaded Space), created in 2002 for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice as part of the “Temi e Variazioni” project conceived and curated by Luca Massimo Barbero.
In 1974, a retrospective of the artist’s work, curated by Giulio Carlo Argan, was held in the Palazzo dei Musei in Modena. In 1980, the Regione Lombardia sponsored an exhibition in the Palazzo Te, Mantua, curated by Flavio Caroli and Gillo Dorfles: an extensive review that illustrated his entire artistic career.

 In 1981 he took part, together with Piero Dorazio, Mimmo Rotella and Giuseppe Santomaso, in the “Italian Art: Four Contemporary Directions” exhibition at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art in Florida. In 1986 he participated in the 11th Rome Quadriennale and the 42nd Venice Biennale. Between 1986 and 1997 Bonalumi was represented exclusively by the Galleria Blu in Milan, which presented solo shows of his work in 1980, 1989, 1991, 1995 (with a monograph published by Scheiwiller as part of the Arte Moderna Italiana series, including a piece written by Vanni Scheiwiller), 2002 and 2005. A monograph by Elena Pontiggia, which documented Bonalumi’s works on paper and made from paper, was also published in 1995, as part of La Scaletta editions, San Polo, Reggio Emilia.
In 1997 he began working with the Galleria Fumagalli in Bergamo, which, in 1998, held an exhibition of his works from 1957 to 1997, accompanied by a monograph by Alberto Fiz and Marco Meneguzzo.Wikipedia

Jannis Kounellis - performance artist and sculptor

"Jannis Kounellis was a Greek performance artist and sculptor associated with the Arte Povera movement. Originally emerging as a painter, Kounellis shifted to making installations he is now widely celebrated for in 1967 during his involvement with Arte Povera, a movement dedicated to attacking the established norms of government, industry, and culture. During this time, he increasingly created works that juxtaposed disparate materials, including stone, cotton, coal, bed frames, and doors. Born on March 23, 1936 in Piraeus, Greece, he went on to study art in Athens and then at the Accademia de Bella Arti in Rome. A prevalent theme in his practice was the incorporation of real life—simulated or otherwise—into spaces of art. This phenomenon can be seen in works where he has installed live birds in cages alongside paintings, sculptures accompanied by the playing of a Bach score, and his reoccurring installations wherein 12 live horses are displayed in galleries or other art spaces. He experienced high levels of success for his work, and participated in prestigious exhibitions including documenta and the Venice Biennale. He died on February 16, 2017 in Rome, Italy at the age of 80."(artnet.com)


Organic structures & Abakans Magdalena Abakanowicz

"Born 1930 in Falenty near Warsaw, she lived and worked in Warsaw. One of Poland's most internationally-acclaimed artists, Abakanowicz is known for works that transcend the conventional sphere of sculpture production. She passed away on 21st April 2017.
Her first major independent achievement was based on using three-dimensional textiles as a medium. Abakanowicz became intimately associated with soft sculptures known as 'Abakans'.Abanowicz being interested by the texture of matter, particularly the organic nature of her medium of choice. Abakans - made from dyed sisal fibre - with its multiplied organic nature - was shocking. At exhibitions they were suspended from the ceiling, unidentifiable monsters wrapped in canvas cloth. The artist broke with the tradition of flat surfaces of decorative textiles hung against the walls. Years later she wrote, 'The Abakans irritated. They were untimely. There was the French tapestry in weaving, pop-art and conceptual art, and here there were some complicated, huge, magical (forms)...'

 In spite of their unnerving connotations, Abakans inspired admiration for the artist's ingenuity and consistency, soon becoming Abakanowicz's ticket to international salons. These novel figures delighted viewers and critics at the 1964 International Biennial of Tapestry in Lausanne and earned the gold medal at the 1967 Sao Paulo Biennial, launching international renown for the artist.
Abakans reflected Abakanowicz's sculptor-like approach to fabric and to the technical possibilities of manipulating the medium. She took advantage of its softness, pliancy, and submissiveness. However, the huge, circular sheets take on an animalistic form under the artist's touch. Abakans look dangerous, their hides resembling stripped off giant monsters, an effect enhanced by the artist's use of a superhuman scale for these mysterious beings.

 Abakanowicz has remained faithful to the law of the series, preferring sets to individual works. The law, applied in Abakans, was even more manifest in her 1970s exhibition Organic Structures.
In the space of the gallery she would place a few dozen oval forms made of sackcloth filled with a soft substance. According to the artist, this was an expression of her childhood experience:
    "After many years soft things of complicated tissue have become my material. I feel a kinship with the world which I do not want to know but through touching, feeling and relating to the part of myself which I carry deep inside me. (...) There is no tool between me and the material I use. I choose it with my hands. I shape it with my hands. My hands transmit my energy to it. By translating an idea into a shape, they will always pass on something escaping conceptualisation. They will reveal the unconscious."(Author: Malgorzata Kitowska-Lysiak, Art History Institute of the Catholic University of Lublin, 2004. Updated by Agnieszka Le Nart, January 2011.culture.pl )

 During the 1970s, and into the 1980s, Abakanowicz changed medium and scale; she began a series of figurative and non-figurative sculptures made out of pieces of coarse sackcloth which she sewed and pieced together and bonded with synthetic resins. These works became more representational than previous sculptures but still retain a degree of abstraction and ambiguity. In 1974-1975 she produced sculptures called Alterations, which were twelve hollowed-out headless human figures sitting in a row. From 1973–1975 she produced a series of enormous, solid forms reminiscent of human heads without faces called Heads. From 1976-1980 she produced a piece call Backs, which was a series of eighty slightly differing sculptures of the human trunk.
In 1986-87 she created a series of fifty standing figures called The Crowd I. She also began to once again work around organic structures, such as her Embryology series, which consisted of several dozen soft egg-like lumps varying in size. These were dispersed round an exhibition room at the Vienna Biennial in 1980.
These humanoid works of the 1970s and 1980s were centered around human culture and nature as a whole and its condition and position in modern society. The multiplicity of the human forms represents confusion and anonymity, analyzing an individual's presence in a mass of humanity. These works have close connections to Abakanowicz's life living in a Communist regime which repressed individual creativity and intellect in favor of the collective interest. These works also contrast with her earlier Abakan series, which were individually powerful pieces, whereas the figurative sculptures lost their individuality in favor of multiplicity.Wikipedia