The Syllabus

Jean Xceron

Jean Xceron

Daniel Robbins
Published in 1965
64 pages, fully illustrated

Director Hilla Rebay collected the geometric abstract paintings of Jean Xceron (1890–1967) for the Guggenheim Museum's predecessor, the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. This catalogue accompanies the artist's retrospective exhibition at the museum, where he happened to be employed for three decades. Assistant Curator Daniel Robbins's essay traces the life of Xceron from Greece to New York, Paris, and back to New York, where he became one of the first American abstract artists to acquire an international reputation. The catalogue also includes color and black-and-white illustrations of Xceron's work spanning from 1917 to 1964, as well as a selected bibliography, exhibition history, and checklist.


Xceron's art has always been so gentle, its drama internal and apparent only to those who follow it attentively. Instinctive, almost humble, it attains a rare poetry that too few have taken the trouble to contemplate. David Smith, who was as American as Xceron is Greek, and knew of the world as Xceron does not, once wrote to his painter friend " . . . You have the pictures and that is not new—you have always made them, and maybe they are too good, too subtle, too sensitive; but someday the world will catch up with you. Most artists are with you and that is the greatest level of appreciation . . . ."

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