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Rewriting the History of Abstract Expressionism: Alfonso Ossorio | The Wall Street Journal

Detail of Shaping Mist by Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990), Lopez Museum Collection.


The Wall Street Journal writes in the article, Rewriting the History of Abstract Expressionism:

In accounts of the Abstract Expressionist era, painter and assemblage-maker Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990) is better known for throwing great parties and purchasing important works by major artists than for producing significant work of his own.

Attempting to rewrite that history is “Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet,” the provocative show at the Parrish Art Museum near the Long Island communities where Ossorio, as well as Jackson Pollock, lived and worked. It positions the underrated oeuvre of the wealthy bon vivant on equal footing with works by Pollock and Jean Dubuffet, his two renowned friends, who held him in high regard as a professional colleague. What they all had in common was a penchant for experimenting with unconventional materials and techniques, and a predilection for rawness over refinement.

“Ossorio’s patronage overshadowed what we know of him as an artist,” observed Klaus Ottmann, curator-at-large of Washington’s Phillips Collection.

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