Spanierman Gallery at East Hampton Exhibits Art of Mary Abbott and Sally Egbert, Abstract Expressionist Painters

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Spanierman Gallery, LLC at East Hampton is pleased to announce the opening on August 21, 2008 of Mary Abbott and Sally Egbert, including paintings and works on paper by two artists working within the Abstract Expressionist tradition. Both Abbott and Egbert draw their inspiration from Long Island's East End.

Mary Abbott - Bill's Painting

define the poetry of living space

Spanierman Gallery, LLC at East Hampton is pleased to announce the opening on August 21, 2008 of "Mary Abbott and Sally Egbert, including paintings and works on paper by two artists working within the Abstract Expressionist tradition. Abbott, who studied with Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Robert Motherwell, was an integral member of the movement during its heyday and has continued to use paint, color, and line to "define the poetry of living space," which she calls her "aim, life, and work." Egbert creates lyrical, rhapsodic works in mixed media and oil in which shapes, defined by color and the way they exist and interact within ambiguous spaces, evoke qualities of motion, stillness, and states of feeling.

Both Abbott and Egbert draw their inspiration from Long Island's East End. Abbott, who began extended visits to East Hampton in her youth and has has spent summers in Southampton since 1966, uses sweeping, energetic strokes and varying intensities of color in works that reveal her personal responses to the East End's distinctive light. "Bill's Painting" (ca. 1951), inspired by de Kooning, combines broadly lathered pinks, a color to which de Kooning was partial, with distinct calligraphic strokes that evoke the figure. The contest between the sensual calm, closely toned color and the brewing energy of the surface carries on a dialogue with de Kooning's exploration of the sensate and conceptual nature of the female figure. In "The Bombash" (1950-53), line and shape mutate within the allover composition, exploring the unconscious, while an eye winking at us deflects over-seriousness. Egbert, who lives in East Hampton, "loves the lines, trees, and flatness," of the area, especially in the off-season, when "the landscapes edits itself." Egbert finds a "purity of language in the landscape" and the serenity of a sense of time that is "more abstract." In "Local Sky "(2008) and "After Sunset" (2008) moments of transitional, extreme light seem suspended, with a few twisting scrawls and deeper hued shapes seemingly held in place by the viscous atmosphere. An admirer of artists for whom which line and color are essential, from Giotto and Uccello to Morandi to Brice Marden, Egbert explores the linear information, from the positive and negative shapes of sand dollars in "Moon Flowers" (2008) to the cut outs collaged in "Orange Radiance" (2008) and "Robin's Rest" (2008).

Born in New York in 1921, Mary Abbott was a descent of several luminaries, including President John Adams and General Robert E. Lee. She studied in her youth at the Art Students League, where she trained under George Grosz in the late 1930s. She married the painter Lewis R. Teague in 1943, but left him three years later, settling in a flat on Tenth Street. In 1948 she studied at the The Subject of the Artist School, a short-lived, experimental establishment founded by pioneering abstractionists Rothko, Newman, and Motherwell. Abbott's concern for intuitive painting was enhanced when she met Willem de Kooning in 1948 or 1949, with whom she enjoyed a lengthy personal and professional relationship. In the years that followed she fraternized with painters Jackson Pollock, the writer Frank O'Hara, and the poet John Ashbury, participating in nightly gathering places such as the Cedar Bar. During the 1950s she exhibited her work at several venues, including the legendary Stable Gallery. Subsequently Abbott has had many solo exhibitions and has participated in group shows in the United States and abroad, most recently The Persistence of Abstraction, held at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow (2008). Her work can be found in the collections, including the Abram Gallery, Southampton College and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Sally Egbert was born in Bay Shore, New York, in 1958. She received her B.S. from the State University of New York, New Paltz, in 1981, and subsequently moved to East Hampton. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions at venues including Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton; the Hechsher Museum, Huntington, New York; Islip Art Museum, New York; the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton; the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia; and the Tucson Museum of Art. She received awards from the New York State Council on the Arts (Artists' Residency Grant, 1992); the New York Foundation for the Arts (Fellowship, 1994); the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (Grant, 1996), and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (Grant, 2000). Her work belongs to many collections including the Tucson Museum of Art.

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