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  • AMERICAN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM SURVEY
    NEW YORK SCHOOL ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISTS

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    Posted August 18, 2004.

    New York School Abstract Expressionists, Artists Choice by Artist and American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's, an Illustrated Survey, both edited by Marika Herskovic and published by New York School Press are two excellent in-depth references on American abstract expressionism. New York School Abstract Expressionists, Artists Choice by Artist focuses almost exclusively on abstract expressionist art and artists in the New York City area, providing complete documentation of the historically important New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals held from 1951-1957, initially called the 9th St. Exhibition in 1951, and continued at the Stable Gallery from 1953-1957. All 256 participating artists are listed in the reference along with which shows they exhibited in. Each of the 86 artists who exhibited in the first two shows is featured in a four-page section that includes an artist statement, basic biographical information, and two illustrations of the artist's work.

    American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's, an Illustrated Survey, published several years after the New York school volume, focuses more on abstract expressionist art across America. The format of the book is basically the same as the first with four pages devoted to each of the 88 featured artists. What makes both of these books worthwhile and required reading for anyone interested in either buying, selling, collecting, or learning about early abstract expressionist art in America is that they cover not only the most important artists, but also a number of less well-known names who are nevertheless significant and collectible. In addition, the books have a combined total of nearly 350 color illustrations of prime examples of abstract expressionist art, more than enough to give any student of the discipline a pretty solid understanding of what better quality examples of the period look like.

    Just to make sure I wasn't being overly effusive in this review, I contacted a gallery with nearly 20 years of experience dealing in American abstract expressionist art, and asked for their opinion. They told me that they consult the books so often, they keep them on the desk rather than on the library shelves. So why aren't these books better known among dealers and collectors? Because they're published by a small publisher with hardly any advertising or promotions budget. Word of mouth is how people find out, or in this case, word of computer. And the word is BUY, so if you're a fan of American abstract expressionist art, help yourself to one of each.

    New York School Abstract Expressionists, Artists Choice by Artist, edited by Marika Herskovic. New York School Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ, 2000, hardbound, dustjacket, 393 pages, 9 1/2 by 12 1/4, $57.

    American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's, an Illustrated Survey edited by Marika Herskovic. New York School Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ, 2003, hardbound, dustjacket, 372 pages, 9 1/2 by 12 1/4, $57.

    Both books available from New York School Press, P.O. Box 305, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 or call 1-201-891-8385 or visit New York School Press online.

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