The Syllabus

Abstract Expressionists Imagists

Abstract Expressionists Imagists

H. H. Arnason
Published in 1961
136 pages, fully illustrated

In the foreword to the exhibition catalogue, entitled “On Art and Terminology,” curator and art historian, H.H. Arnason explains the early history of terminology to describe Abstract Expressionism and the problems that resulted from attempting to categorize those artists who are widely considered to be exponents of this movement. The term “imagists” in the exhibition title, Arnason states, is used as a gloss and criticism of the phrase "Abstract Expressionists." It has significance solely in the context of this exhibition. The exhibition Abstract Expressionists Imagists was a survey of the state of Abstract Expressionism in 1961, a movement that had begun around the end of WWII. Many of the paintings were produced after 1960 and this exhibition marked the first time they were ever exhibited. The accompanying catalogue includes reproductions of works by the sixty-four artists featured in the exhibition and an essay by Arnason, which traces the recent developments in Abstract Expressionism. It also includes brief biographical details for each artist and a general bibliography for Abstract Expressionism and each artist.

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