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The Abstract Impulse: Fifty Years of Abstraction at the National Academy
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The Abstract Impulse: Fifty Years of Abstraction at the National Academy

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The Abstract Impulse
Fifty Years of Abstraction at the National Academy
1956-2006
At
The National Academy
www.nationalacademy.org
1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
NYC, NY 10128
212.369.4880

August 1, 2007 – January 6, 2008
Press: Christine P. Williams

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 6, 2007


(Assisted by National Academy Press Notes).
The National Academy, founded in 1825, is a lovely combined institution, housed in a historic mansion, on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile. A marble fireplace, zigzag wooden floors, tall windows facing Central Park, and a decorated white ceiling make the National Academy a pleasure to explore. The Academy includes an honorary association of American artists, a museum, and a school of fine arts. It was originally called the National Academy of Design and was founded by artists, such as Asher B. Durand and Thomas Cole. The National Academy has programs for families, lunchtime lectures, quality arts instruction, and special exhibitions. The painters, sculptors, architects, and printmakers in the honorary association are elected and admitted by their peers. Such members have been Frank Gehry, Winslow Homer, Frank Lloyd Wright, and I. M. Pei.

The exhibit that I viewed recently, The Abstract Impulse, has on display 47 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. The three sections in this exhibit are: gesture, geometry, and introspection. The Academy organized these sections as a loose guide of fifty years of artistic creation. The Pat Adams work, “Des Clefs”, in Geometry, was mixed media on paper, mounted on canvas, with various compass-like circles, triangles, and squares and a pointillist touch. Also in Geometry were all-white prints, acrylic works on wood, brass/bronze cubes, and a granite cube. A fascinating sculpture, “Empathy”, was formed of terra cotta in black.

Stephen Antonakos’ “The Light”, with neon lights shining on a white-painted, torn shape on wood, is mesmerizing, as is Jules Oltiski’s “Salome Rock”, thick with acrylic waves on canvas. Stephen Greene’s “Night”, oil on canvas, has a dark, fragmented background splashed with blues, reds, pinks, and yellow, like a painted collage. Sonia Gechtoff’s “The Visitor”, oil on canvas, resembles a large white bird in flight, caught with fluttering wings in a surreal colorful display. This exhibit can be seen until January 6, 2008 and should not be missed. Check the National Academy’s Website for other exhibitions, classes, programs, and lectures.


Pat Adams (b. 1928)
ANA 1992; NA 1993
Des Clefs, 1990
Mixed media on paper mounted to canvas
15 1/8 x 20 1/4 inches
ANA diploma presentation, 1992




Stephen Antonakos (b. 1926)
NA 2004
The Light, 1997
White Varathene paint on wood with neon
24 x 25 3/8 x 4 ½ inches
NA diploma presentation, 2005




Jules Oltiski (1922–2007)
ANA 1992; NA 1994
Salome Rock, 1990
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 24 inches
ANA diploma presentation, 1993




Stephen Greene (1917–1999)
ANA 1980; NA 1982
Night, 1982
Oil on canvas
30 1/8 x 30 1/8 inches
NA diploma presentation, 1983



Sonia Gechtoff (b. 1926)
ANA 1993; NA 1994
The Visitor, 1960–61
Oil on canvas
32 x 32 inches
Gift of the artist, 2006




Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington's Sculpture of the Goddess, Diana
ANA 1916; NA 1922
Diana, 1922
Bronze, 99 x 36 x 23
Gift of the artist, 1948 (60-S)
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington's Sculpture of the Goddess, Diana
ANA 1916; NA 1922
Diana, 1922
Bronze, 99 x 36 x 23
Gift of the artist, 1948 (60-S)
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net