‘Building Biederman: Charles Biederman and the Pursuit of an American Abstraction’ at …

Charles Biederman (1906-2004) # 27, 1936. Oil on canvas. 51 x 38 1/4 inches.
Meredith Ward Fine Arts

Charles Biederman (1906-2004), 10/1935, 1935, Oil on canvas, 17 1/4 x 15 1/4 in.
Meredith Ward Fine Arts

“… They will one day be surprised, looking beyond their long gray mustaches, that abstract art is still there and in motion. . . people [think] that the complete and final elimination of the subject is the last and the end; they cannot see that this step is another beginning. Charles Biederman, New York, March 1936

Meredith Ward Fine Art will present Building Biederman: Charles Biederman and the pursuit of an American abstraction. This exhibition, from October 22 to December 10, 2021, will take an intimate look at the first paintings and drawings by Charles Biederman. His work will be shown alongside those of his peers who were grappling with similar ideas in search of a new American abstract art. The mid-1930s was a particularly prolific and experimental period in Biederman’s life. He had gained the approval of key critics and peers, and had achieved success as an abstract painter in New York and abroad. Yet after Biederman’s return from Paris in June 1937, he stopped painting and worked in sculpture for the rest of his career.

“For me, there is no future for art except in New York,” wrote Biederman from Paris in 1936. “Americans don’t know and care less about art and at least we can start. neatly with them. On the other hand, here they are so saturated with the past and the tradition of art. . . they will just keep vomiting art. . . ”Biederman realized that many veterans of the Parisian avant-garde thought abstract art had run its course. While this was also the attitude of certain artistic institutions in New York, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Biederman and his American peers nevertheless pushed further into the field of abstraction, synthesizing avant-garde styles. with their own personal vision.

Recognizing the potential of abstract art in the United States, European artists like Frederick Kann immigrated and established the American Abstract Artists group. American artists like Irene Rice Pereira and Flora Crockett returned from abroad with new knowledge acquired through the training of modern masters like Fernand Léger. With the ambition to push back the limits of subject, materials and form, these artists have given new life to abstract art across the Atlantic.


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