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Drawn from the Museum’s deep holdings of paintings\, sculptu re\, drawings\, prints\, and photographs\, Signs &\; Symbols shed s new light on the development of American abstraction during the critical postwar period of the mid-1940s to the end of the 1950s. Many artists activ e in this period who are often overlooked—Will Barnet\, Forrest Bess\, Char les Seliger\, and Mark Tobey\, among others—developed abstract work that re mains distinct from many of the concerns associated with the canonized Abst ract Expressionists\, including large-scale canvases and gestural brushwork . Instead\, the exhibition presents a more nuanced narrative\, focused on t he figurative and calligraphic “signs and symbols” present in much of the h ighly controlled work from this period and included in this show. In many c ases\, this work drew inspiration from specifically American sources and so ught to foster a national aesthetic distinct from European Surrealism and C ubism. These investigations formed an important foundation for a future gen eration of artists—including Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein—who later in corporated highly individualized systems of signs into their own work while embracing distinctly American subject matter.

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Signs &\; Symb ols is organized by Donna De Salvo\, chief curator and deputy director for programs.

DTEND:20121028 DTSTAMP:20140830T200540 DTSTART:20120628 GEO:40.7707545;-73.9569484 LOCATION:Whitney Museum of American Art\,945 Madison Avenue 75th Street\nNe w York\, NY 10021 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Signs & Symbols\, Will Barnet\, Forrest Bess\, Adolph Gottlieb\, Ja sper Johns\, Roy Lichtenstein\, Charles Seliger\, Mark Tobey UID:218046 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20120628T180000 DTSTAMP:20140830T200540 DTSTART:20120628T110000 GEO:40.7707545;-73.9569484 LOCATION:Whitney Museum of American Art\,945 Madison Avenue 75th Street\nNe w York\, NY 10021 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Signs & Symbols\, Will Barnet\, Forrest Bess\, Adolph Gottlieb\, Ja sper Johns\, Roy Lichtenstein\, Charles Seliger\, Mark Tobey UID:218047 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR