New York – From July 19, to September 2, 2011, Forum Gallery presents That Seventies Show, an exhibition of works created from 1970 to 1980 by a diverse group of creative artists whose energy and impulses are emblematic of the decade. Unlike previous time periods, important art of the 1970s cannot be characterized by a term, or label. Instead, the art on view represents the origins of pluralism and defies the idea of a collective effort or single artistic movement.
Figurative drawings by William Beckman; and figurative paintings by Gregory Gillespie, Joseph Hirsch, David Levine, Ben Shahn and Raphael Soyer illustrate this diversity. Although united by their focus on the human figure, each artist takes a different approach and the results are quite different. Both Gillespie, who burst on the scene in the Seventies, and Shahn, who was by then a mature and well-known artist, created fantasies, but Gregory Gillespie had his own, intense surreal style, while Shahn, in the Seventies, was about lyrical dreamscape. Hirsch and Levine were painting characteristic responses to social behavior of the time, while Beckman and Soyer were objective observers of the human form.
Linear abstraction, represented here in three-dimensional works by Charles Biederman, Ilya Bolotowsky, and Eli Bornstein; and a major painting by Richard Anuszkiewicz, was the new abstract aesthetic of the decade of the 1970s. Born of a response to the abstract expressionism of the previous decades, this art today has a visual clarity and emotional neutrality that compel attention.
Original, realist works by Robert Cottingham and Tom Wesselmann are among the first creations in which painters employed photography as a means of observation. The paintings focus on detailed, unidealized representation of life, and are clear antecedents of much of the photography-based drawing and painting that have followed.
That Seventies Show also includes works by Yaacov Agam, Davis Cone, Rackstraw Downes, Yrjö Edelmann, Chaim Gross, Jules Kirschenbaum, Henry Moore, Robert Motherwell, Saul Steinberg, Ernesto Tino Trova, Laura Ziegler and Francisco Zúñiga.
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The exhibition will run from July 19 through September 17, 2011 at Forum Gallery at 730 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street.