Timothy Taylor Gallery presents an exhibition that brings together the work of four artists who were instrumental in the evolution of post-war European abstraction. The exhibition looks at the different ways these artists invigorated their practice against the backdrop of an increasingly confident US cultural scene. Paris continued to be the nexus of European arts, literature and philosophy after the war, but it was clear that artists had to abandon the illusion that art could change society, and instead develop the notion of the artist as a liberated self-reliant individual. This impulse lead to painterly explorations with raw and unaesthetic materials and techniques, the use of paint as a flowing and vital medium and the use of impulsive and spontaneous lines and gestures.
This exhibition also touches on the question of longevity and how each of these artists sustained the project of abstraction over the period of half a century, breaking new ground again and again, and creating controversial and daring works well into the latter part of their careers. The exhibition explores techniques and materials used by these artists, from the intricate folded canvasses of Simon Hantaï, to the inventive dynamism of Hans Hartung, to the sensuous ‘ultrablack’ paintings of Pierre Soulages, to Antoni Tàpies’ materially complex tellurian landscapes.