Master Drawings Week – Carl Holty: Legacy to American Abstraction

January 21 - 29, 2022
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Overview

Best known for his large color field canvases from the mid 1950s through the 1960s, German born American Abstractionist Carl Holty had a lively and prolific early career. Beginning in the mid 1920s in Germany under Hans Hofmann, Holty moved to Paris in the 1930s where he exhibited with the Abstraction-Création group founded by Theo van Doesburg. Holty embraced all of the “isms” Paris had to offer, Synthetic-Cubism, Biomorphism, Neo-Plasticism, producing a diverse but cohesive body of drawings and paintings in ink, graphite, and gouache. Returning to New York, Holty reconnected with Vaclav Vytlacil, whom he had met in Paris, joining him in the foundation of the American Abstract Artists group. It was at this time Piet Mondrian, recently arrived in New York himself, convinced Holty to embrace pure abstraction.