Catalogue to the gallery exhibition of the same name, October 18–December 1, 2018
A “subway series” painting by Mark Rothko; the fourteen Stations of the Cross by George Tooker; the bronze sculpture, Titanic Memorial, by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; and Modiste, a full-length portrait of a young Spanish woman by Robert Henri are among the never or rarely publicly-viewed masterpieces that are included in The Masters: Art Students League Teachers and Their Students.
The Masters includes over one-hundred artworks by seventy-eight major artists, from 1900 to the present, who studied, taught, or studied and taught at the Art Students League. On view and available for sale were works by the school’s founders and first teachers, such as William Merritt Chase, Frank Vincent DuMond, Kenneth Hayes Miller, John Sloan, George Bridgman and Robert Henri; then early students including Georgia O’Keeffe, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows, Norman Rockwell and Guy Pène du Bois; and then their “offspring,” including Reginald Marsh, Alexander Calder, Isabel Bishop, Peggy Bacon and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Subsequent generations of artists whose works are included in the show with most for sale are Thomas Hart Benton, Romare Bearden, Jackson Pollock, Fairfield Porter, David Smith, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Milton Avery, Lee Krasner, Stuart Davis, Dorothy Dehner, Paul Jenkins, Elizabeth Catlett, Will Barnet, Louise Nevelson, Helen Frankenthaler, James Rosenquist, Robert Rauschenberg, Pat Lipsky, Knox Martin, Cy Twombly, Marisol, Adrian Piper and Norman Lewis, among many others.
The Art Students League was founded as an atelier, or studio-based, school that diverged from traditional American art academies. It immediately attracted both men and women and offered women access to study from the nude, first in gender-segregated classes and later alongside men. From the 1920s through the present, the school has served as a haven for immigrant artists–students and teachers–from countries in turmoil, oppressive regimes, and impoverished conditions. George Grosz, Mark Rothko, Vaclav Vytlacil, Ben Shahn, Philip Guston, John Graham, Lee Bontecou, Arshile Gorky, Louisa Matthiasdottir, and Zhang Hongtu are a few of the contributors to the amazing cauldron of cultures, ages, races, and ethnicities that has been at the core of the Art Students League’s practice and community.
The Masters is a celebration of this unique art institution and of the students and teachers who are central to its history and its impact on art-making, art history, and the American tradition of openness and acceptance of diverseness.
The catalogue is soft cover, 64 pages, fully illustrated in color. Essay by Mara Miller.