Exposition Art Blog: Yvonne Thomas - Abstract Expressionism

Yvonne Thomas - Abstract Expressionism

Yvonne Thomas (1913 Nice – August 7, 2009 Aspen, Colorado) was an American abstract artist. She immigrated to the United States in 1925, and studied at The Cooper Union, and the Art Students League. She studied at the Subject of the Artist school, with Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, William Baziotes and David Hare. She was a member of the Artist's Club, and exhibited in the 9th Street Art Exhibition in 1951.
"Yvonne Thomas’ art acknowledges the union of paint and support that the famous critic Clement Greenberg posed as a modernist quest for a responsible colorist. The poetry and sophistication of the paintings is the culmination of an education received firsthand from several leaders of the New York School’s first generation. Besides her education at Cooper Union and the Art Students League and a period of study at the famous Ozenfant School of Art in France, she was one of five privileged students to be part of the now famous Subject of the Artists School that was conducted by Motherwell, Rothko, Newman, Baziotes and Hare in 1948. She subsequently worked a year with Robert Motherwell. These artists did not encourage their student to emulate modern masters. Instead they instilled the formal advances of such figures as Matisse, Picasso and Mondrian. The artists learned how to deal with problems such as how to use color as a way to structure a painting. Through working with Motherwell, Thomas inherited a thorough grounding in improvisational principles of psychic automatism from the surrealists. She was further influenced by Hans Hoffman’s principles at his Manhattan school. From this school she appreciated the emotive potentialities of color and the need to work contrapuntal in terms of positive and negative spaces. She developed an appreciation for the significance of taking the overall dimensions of a given canvas into consideration as a key compositional element. Despite, and on account of this education, Thomas has always held to her own interpretation of these principles. "(rogallery.com)

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