April 7, 2009

Art historian Irving Sandler speaks at School of Visual Arts on April 16

School of Visual Arts (SVA)
Irving Sandler

SVA Theater, School of Visual Arts
333 West 23 Street, New York City

Irving Sandler, the foremost critic on postwar American art, will speak at the School of Visual Arts on April 16 about his firsthand experiences with the key figures in the Abstract Expressionist movement. The lecture coincides with release of his new book, Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience: A Reevaluation, co-published by the School of Visual Arts and Hard Press Editions (Mission Critical Series) in association with Hudson Hills Press. Sandler will be introduced by Alex Katz and interviewed by art critic and SVA faculty member Raphael Rubinstein, the editor of the new book. The discussion will be followed by a question and answer session and a book signing.

Sandler, a long-time champion of the American avant-garde movement, revisits the subject of his landmark study, The Triumph of American Painting, nearly 40 years later. Focusing on the decade of 1942-1952, he examines the work of Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still and Willem de Kooning, among others, in light of the specific historical context of the time. He draws upon firsthand experience to support his analysis—including the many interviews, notes and anecdotes recorded during his conversations with these artists in famed gathering places like the Cedar Street Tavern and the Eighth Street Artist’s Club.

Irving Sandler has played a vital role in the New York art scene as a chronicler, commentator and educator for the past five decades. Starting in the 1950s, Sandler worked as the director of the Tanager Gallery and as the program manager for the Artists’ Club, the famed association of the Abstract Expressionists. In the 1960s, he wrote criticism and reviews for ARTnews, Art International, and the New York Post and later began teaching at New York University. He became a Professor of Art at the State University of New York College at Purchase, NY in the 1970s and co-founded Artists’ Space, an alternative exhibition space for young artists. He is the author of many seminal texts, including The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (Harper & Row, 1970); The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties (Harper & Row, 1978); American Art of the 1960s (Harper Collins, 1988); and Art of the Postmodern Era: From the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s (Westview Press, 1996).

School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.

Image above:
Irving Sandler
© Jonathan Gams, 2007

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