Abstraction in the 1960s: Rediscovered Works from the Permanent Collection April 14 – July 28, 2013
Lionel Gilbert (American, 1912-2005) Untitled, ca. late 1960s, oil on board,
12 3/8 x 14 ¼ in., HHAR 5694, Anonymous Gift, The Art Collection at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale
Saliba Douaihy (Lebanese, 1915-1994) Untitled, 1966, oil on board,
16 x 24 in., HHAR 5000, Gift of Ellen Cantrowitz, The Art Collection at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale
Abstraction in the 1960s: Rediscovered Works from the Permanent Collection features abstract paintings and works on paper from the 1960s by nine different artists and drawn from the Hebrew Home’s art collection.
Abstract Expressionist artists such as Lionel Gilbert (American, 1912-2005), Sidney Gross (American, 1921-1969), Lee Hall (American, b. 1934), William McCartin (American, 1905-2003) and Symcho Moszkowicz (Swedish, b. Poland, 1915-1966) lived and worked in a number of different locales and absorbed a variety of influences. Gilbert, Gross, Hall and McCartin are American artists associated with the West Coast and New York City where the roots of Abstract Expressionism in the United States first took hold. These four artists’ expressionistic paintings incorporate smudged shapes and exploratory color combinations. They offer and array of diverse examples of the type of art being produced during this period.
European artist Symcho Moszkowicz works in the same tradition; however, his paintings ruminate on his experience during the Holocaust. The large painting included in this exhibition, Abstract Composition (1964-1966), executed at the end of his life, incorporates dark paint and textured, mixed media elements that create a rough, disquieting effect. The essential nature of Abstract Expressionist painting – tumultuous and unrestrained – provides a well-matched visual language with which to explore such personal experiences and trauma.
Directly opposed to Abstract Expressionism are the paintings of Don David (American, 1906-2006), who worked in the Hard-edge style typical of his fellow California artists. Hard-edge painting – a West Coast phenomenon – intentionally contradicted the dramatic sensibilities of Abstract Expressionism – a distinctly East Coast, New York City-based movement – presenting works with bold, geometric shapes that are intended to be impersonal and precise.
Also included is international artist Saliba Douaihy (Lebanese, 1915-1994), a painter from Lebanon who began his career painting landscapes under the tutelage of Habib Srour (Lebanese, 1860-1938). After a pivotal trip to New York City in 1950, where he remained for the next 25 years, Douaihy began to experiment with abstraction. After reading the work of philosopher Immanuel Kant, he became interested in distilling form to its most essential elements. His paintings from the 1960s, two of which are included in this exhibition, are comprised of color fields and precise edges; his use of organic, earthy colors reflects the qualities of his early landscape paintings of Lebanon.
As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. The Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 7,000 elderly persons through its resources and community service programs.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
“To me personally these are not artifacts. They are symbols…Especially around the holidays, I really miss my parents—these are symbols that tie me to my family.”
Hyman Martin, 86-year-old resident
Get The Facts
Art is an integral part of the Hebrew Home. Over 5,000 works of art are installed throughout the residential neighborhoods and public spaces for the enjoyment of residents, visitors and staff. The Derfner Judaica Museum maintains a collection of approximately 1,400 objects used in traditional Jewish ceremonies and rituals as well as Jewish Art.
The Hebrew Home at Riverdale | 5901 Palisade Avenue | Riverdale, New York 10471