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Adolph Gottlieb Biography


Adolph Gottlieb was an abstract expressionist best known for his paintings, sculptures, and prints. He was born in New York in 1903, and studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1920 to 1921. From here he went to Germany and France.

During an extended stay in Paris, he made daily visits to the Louvre Museum, before continuing to travel further throughout central Europe. His first solo exhibition came in 1930, and from then on he was recognised as one of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. His good friends included such luminaries as Mark Rothko and Milton Avery.

During the 1940s and 1950s, he developed a new approach to making art which he termed Pictographs, and which abandoned narrative in favour of subconscious images related by shape, texture, and colour. After this he developed his Imaginary Landscapes, before moving on to a technique known as the ‘Burst’. This approach arranges the disc and the winding mass in various configurations. His works have reached the permanent collections of more than 140 art museums all over the world. In 1970, Gottlieb fell ill with a stroke, after which he could only move his right hand and arm. He continued to paint until he died in 1974.

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