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Included with museum admission

East End Art World, August 1953: Photographs by Tony Vaccaro

May 4 – July 29, 2017 

In August of 1953, Look magazine sent Tony Vaccaro on assignment to East Hampton to photograph Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner for a feature article. The piece was killed, but Vaccaro kept the black and white images, a group of which was shown at the Pollock-Krasner House in 2010. While in the Hamptons, Vaccaro also photographed several other artists, some in their studios and others at the home of the art dealer Leo Castelli in Georgica. Missing for six decades, the negatives and contact sheets were recently discovered during a move. Among the people he captured at work and in social settings are Willem and Elaine de Kooning—who had studios at the Castelli house that summer—Harold and May Rosenberg, Fairfield Porter, Wilfrid Zogbaum, Larry Rivers, Alfonso Ossorio, Costantino Nivola and John Graham. The exhibition will feature 20 of these images, shown here for the first time, including a previously unknown color portrait of Pollock. 

Tony Vaccaro is one of the most distinguished photojournalists of the 20 th century. Renowned for his documentary work in post-World War II Europe, he has also photographed a wide array of notable personalities, from heads of state to stars of stage and screen. At age 94, he continues to work in his Long Island City studio, managed by his son Frank and daughter-in-law Maria, who supervised production of the exhibition prints.

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Abstract Expressionism Behind the Iron Curtain

August 3 – October 28, 2017

This highly unusual exhibition addresses a little-known aspect of artistic expression in eastern Europe during the Cold War period, when official art in Soviet Bloc countries was strictly regulated and was required to adhere to Communist Party doctrine. In spite of such restrictions, however, there were artists who were aware of developments in contemporary abstract art, either through personal travel and contact with artists in the west or via international exhibitions, and who responded to those trends. Some immigrated to western Europe in order to practice their art, while others remained in their home countries and created bodies of very personal work that was not officially sanctioned. The exhibition focuses on representatives of the latter group.

The artists are Andrej Jemec (b. 1934, Slovenia), Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990, Poland), Jan Kotík (1916-2002, Czechoslovakia), Edo Murtić (1921-2005, Croatia) and Romul Nuţiu (1932-2012, Romania). Their paintings illustrate each artist’s adaptation of an Abstract Expressionist approach—spontaneous gesture, subjective imagery, and emotional content—seen in relation to American precedents and contemporaneous European trends such as l’art informel and Spatialism.

Works are lent by the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź; Muzej Suvremene Umjetnosti, Zagreb; Fundatia Joana Grevers, Municht; and private collectors. 

A fully illustrated catalog, with essays by Charlotta Kotík, former Brooklyn Museum curator and daughter-in-law of Jan Kotík, and Philip Rylands, director emeritus of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, will accompany the exhibition, which will travel to the Steinberg Museum of Art at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus in Brookville, New York.

The exhibition, catalog, and related programming have been made possible by the Thaw Charitable Trust Endowment, the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Suffolk County Office of Cultural Affairs, the Herman Goldman Foundation and Dorothy Lichtenstein.

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Past Exhibitions »


The 2006 exhibition, "Jackson Pollock: Small Poured Works, 1943-1950"

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