Wednesday, February 22
Sunday, September 16, 2012
“Sabbath of History: William Congdon, Meditations on Holy Week”
Featuring works by William Congdon, YC ’34
Location is wheelchair accessible
William Congdon (1912–1998) is regarded as one of the foremost painters of his generation. In the 1950s, his expressive images of urban landscapes caught the attention of critics and artists alike, who praised the intensity of his vision and his unique form of lyrical abstraction. Working in a cold-water studio on the Bowery, Congdon used spatulas to load his panels with richly colored impasto, into which he incised delicate lines that coalesce to form portraits of urban desolation and post-war anxiety. His first one-man show, at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1949, was lauded by reigning art critic Clement Greenberg who credited his paintings with having “real painterly emotion.” In 1951, he was profiled in Life magazine and heralded as “A Remarkable New U.S. Painter.” But while Congdon’s achievement as a mid-century action painter is well known, the accomplishments he made in the decades after his early success have gone largely unrecognized.
Although his work is represented in many U.S. collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery, his work is rarely exhibited in the United States. This exhibition, presented on the centennial of the artist’s birth, is the most comprehensive overview of his work to date, with over 65 works ranging from drawings the artist made during World War II to abstract paintings he completed in the final months of his life.
Open daily 10am – 5pm
Admission and parking are free.
The Knights of Columbus Museum, (203) 865-0400