Findlay Galleries presents the group exhibition, Lyrical Abstraction, showcasing works by Mary Abbott, Norman Bluhm, James Brooks, John Ferren, Gordon Onslow Ford, Paul Jenkins, Ronnie Landfield,
Frank Lobdell, Emily Mason, Irene Rice Pereira, Robert Richenburg, and Vivian Springford.
The Lyrical Abstraction movement emerged in America during the 1960s and 1970s in response to the growth of Minimalism and Conceptual art. Larry Aldrich, founder of the Aldrich Museum, first coined the term Lyrical Abstraction and staged its first exhibition in 1971 at The Whitney Museum of American Art. The exhibition featured works by artists such as Dan Christensen, Ronnie Landfield, and William Pettet. David Shirey, a New York Times critic who reviewed the exhibition, said, “[Lyrical Abstraction] is not interested in fundamentals and forces. It takes them as a means to an end. That end is beauty…”
Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings and Mark Rothko’s stained color forms provided important precedence for the movement in which artists adopted a more painterly approach with rich colors and fluid composition. Ronnie Landfield, an artist at the forefront of Lyrical Abstraction calls it “a new sensibility,” stating:
…[Lyrical Abstraction] was painterly, additive, combined different styles, was spiritual, and expressed deep human values. Artists in their studios knew that reduction was no longer necessary for advanced art and that style did not necessarily determine quality or meaning. Lyrical Abstraction was painterly, loose, expressive, ambiguous, landscape-oriented, and generally everything that Minimal Art and Greenbergian Formalism of the mid-sixties were not.
Building on Aldrich’s concept of Lyrical Abstractions, Findlay Galleries’ exhibition expands the definition to include artists such as John Ferren, Robert Richenburg and Frank Lobdell. These artists are included because certain aspects of their work evince qualities associated with Lyrical Abstraction.
In the decades since Aldrich’s exhibition, Lyrical Abstraction has often been overlooked. It is our hope that this exhibition will bring further recognition to the movement while providing an opportunity to understand each artist’s unique contribution and interpretation of the new aesthetic.