Release Date: August 1, 2019
American Art, 1900–1950
American Surreal: Arshile Gorky and Nathan Lerner
East Building, Ground Level, Gallery 106A
Surrealism was a powerful force in American art of the late 1930s and 1940s due to the immigration of European surrealists, such as Max Ernst and André Breton, to the United States and a widely celebrated 1936–1937 exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Painter Arshile Gorky (1904–1948) and photographer Nathan Lerner (1913–1997) were not full-fledged surrealists, but each took their own lessons from the movement to develop strikingly original work.
Gorky immigrated to America in 1920 and settled in New York City. He was a pioneer of abstract expressionism and a close friend and colleague of Willem de Kooning and Stuart Davis. Many of Gorky’s abstracted drawings suggest reclining nudes that have been turned inside out or feature organ-like shapes that have been liberated from bodies.
The son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, Lerner trained as a painter at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and began using a camera to hone his sense of composition. He often distorted the human figure, isolating body parts and twisting forms into wiry visions. At times Lerner would shoot his photographs in extreme close-up or through screens like textured glass or the water of a swimming pool. He used a long exposure to “draw” with moving light sources and designed a box to analyze the effects of light on objects suspended in space.
The installation is curated by Kara Felt, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of photographs; and Diana Greenwald, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of American and British paintings and the department of modern prints and drawings, both at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Laurie Tylec, (202) 842-6355 or [email protected]
General InformationThe National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.
Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Chief of Communications
The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.
To order publicity images: Click on the link above and designate your desired images using the checkbox below each thumbnail. Please include your name and contact information, press affiliation, deadline for receiving images, the date of publication, and a brief description of the kind of press coverage planned.
Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or [email protected]
RSS (NEWS FEED)