Skip Navigation

Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor

(Philbrook Downtown) Abstract Expressionism revolutionized the art of painting in the mid-20th Century. Originating in New York among a relatively small number of artists, the movement framed the view that art was the product of individual sensibilities in the service of communicating universal forms of expression. 

Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974), one of the original Abstract Expressionists, has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions in the United States and around the world.In 1967, while preparing for a retrospective exhibition that would fill both the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums in New York, he began to make small models for sculptures. He was buoyed by “the feeling that I was a young sculptor, just beginning.”

Although Gottlieb’s foray into sculpture was brief (essentially just one year), he created a body of work that challenged the distinction between painting and sculpture. His developed sense of touch, visual balance, and surface quality ultimately made his sculptures – like his paintings – a vehicle for emotional expression. “I feel a necessity for making the particular colors that I use, or the particular shapes, carry the burden of everything that I want to express, and all has to be concentrated within these few elements.”

Gottlieb’s sculptures owe their vitality to the artist’s underlying belief that all forms are amplified when considered beside their opposite. Gottlieb’s use of the most essential artistic forms in both his paintings and sculptures demonstrates his understanding and mastery of the subtleties of his media. Meanwhile, the simplicity of the elements Gottlieb embraced belies the complexity of his art.

This exhibition was organized by the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York. All works of art by Adolph Gottlieb are © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York.

  • Philbrook Downtown

Thank You

The sponsors listed in the link above make exhibitions possible through generous donations. To learn more about Philbrook Exhibition Series Sponsors, complete a sponsor contact form.