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Albert Kotin  Early New York School  Abstract Expressionist - ArtLyst Article image

Albert Kotin Early New York School Abstract Expressionist

25-06-2015
 
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Albert Kotin  Early New York School  Abstract Expressionist  

Albert Kotin belonged to the early generation of New York School Abstract Expressionist artists. He was among the 24 artists from the total of 256 participants who were included in the famous "9th St." Show, (1951) and in all the following New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals from 1953 to 1957. These Annuals were important because the participants were chosen by the artists themselves.


Alexander Calder wrote in 1968: 

“As long as there are people such as Al Kotin, there is no danger to art.” 

From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

This blog intends to enlighten not only our own generation but the subsequent generations to come to reevaluate art’s mainstream and to shed new light on the American art heritage. It may also serve as an invaluable tool for preventing and fighting art-forgeries.

Albert Kotin the early years: 1923-1930

“My earliest memories are of my parents scraping down the walls of our home on which I had drawn. Beginning in 1923 I studied at the New York Arts Student League and at The National Academy of Design and with Charles Hawthorn in Provincetown.”

Albert Kotin, Blacksmith, 1928. Oil on canvas.Photograph
Private collection
All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.
 

“In 1929 I went to Paris for two years and studied at the Academiè Julian, the Grand Chaumiere and at the Atelier de Fresque under the wonderful old boy (Paul Bodin) who in his youth had worked with Puvis de Chavanne.”

From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection

All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Media in category "Académie de la Grande Chaumière"

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1930

Watercolor on paper, 11 3/4 x 12 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Nude Study, 1930

Sepia on paper, 16 3/8 x 9 1/2 inchesPrivate collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

Albert Kotin-The Depression-Federal Art Project (FAP)
1931-1943.

During The Great Depression in 1931 Albert Kotin returns to the USA:

“On my return to New York late in 1931 the depression was at its deepest. For a time I assisted a mural painter who was doing a church. Later I was commissioned to do a mural for the Sociology Department of New York University. (The painting has since disappeared, it was as if my parents were still scrubbing down walls).”

From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection. All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Mural

for the Sociology Department of New York University, 1931

Photograph by Maurice Bratter

310 West 71st St. NY

Acquired by Robert E. Rose, Waterford, VA

Sold by the above to Dr. C. J. Friedlender, Washington, D.C.

All Rights Reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin during the Great Depression participated in The Federal Art Project (FAP) and in the WPA. 

As with the other Federal cultural projects of the time, the 

program sought to bring art and artists into the everyday life of communities throughout the United States, through community art centers, exhibitions and classes. 

“When the WPA was formed I went with them as an easel painter.”

From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection. All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, The Sand Pit, 1936

Watercolor on paper, 14 1/4 x 19 inches

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

All Rights Reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

Albert Kotin, The Sand Pit II, 1936

Watercolor on paper, 14 1/4 x 19 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Foreclosure, 1937

Watercolor on paper, 16 x 21 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin resigned from the WPA as an easel painter in 1938 after winning first prize in a National Mural Competition. Kotin was awarded fist prize by the Treasury Department for Murals in the Arlington, New Jersey.

The Post office murals were funded by the Section of Fine Arts under the Treasury Department and not the WPA.

Albert Kotin, Murals (The City) and (The Marsh), 1938

Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the USPS. Photograph taken by USPS Supervisor, 2006.

The Arlington name was dropped and changed to Kearny on January 1, 1955.

Albert Kotin, Mural, Country Dance, 1940

Ada, OH

Photo: Joey Harrison

Used with permission of the United States Postal Service ©.

All rights reserved.

Albert Kotin participation in Military Service World War II
1941-1945.
From Albert Kotin’s recollection of World War II. 

“But then the war in Europe began to make its presence felt. All Federal Buildings were canceled and the nation began girding for war.I too girded.I became a draftsman for a while and when I felt it wasn’t enough I invited the army to call me in. The army opened its arms. I became an instructor in cartography at the Engineers School at Fort Belvoir, VA.”From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection. All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

 

THE GI BILL

The official title was the "Servicemen's Readjustment Act" and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it in 1944, even before the war ended.

For most, the educational opportunities were the most important part of the law. WWII veterans were entitled to one year of full-time training plus time equal to their military service, up to 48 months. The Veterans Administration paid the university, trade school, or employer up to $500 per year for tuition, books, fees and other training costs. Veterans also received a small living allowance while they were in school.

Thanks to the GI Bill, millions who would have flooded the job market instead opted for education. In the peak year of 1947, Veterans accounted for 49 percent of college admissions. By the time the original GI Bill ended on July 25, 1956, 7.8 million of 16 million World War II Veterans had participated in an education or training program.

Hans Hofmann at his summer school in Provincetown under auspices of the "G.I. Bill" provided for veterans of World War II.

Albert Kotin’s recollection:

“On my discharge (honorable) I resumed painting and went to study 

with Hans Hofmann who had been a friend and whom I respected highly.”From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection. All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Hans Hofmann, Provincetown, 1947. photo ©

Courtesy Maria Hans & Renate Hofmann Estate.

 

Early Paintings after returning from World War II.

 

Albert kotin, Untitled, 1947

Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches.

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

Albert Kotin, Moment of Flight, 1948

Oil on canvas, 21 x 36 inches

Exhibited:

"Group & 2," New School for Social Research, November 28 - December 14, 1948

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

Albert Kotin, Strugle between Plant and Insects, 1948

oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches

Exhibited:

Group & 2," New School for Social Research, November 28 - December 14, 1948

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

Albert Kotin, Halloween Night, 1948

Oil on canvas, 20 x 28 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

“Albert Kotin in his oils - pure abstractions - mood is established in color.

It is usually lyrical mood regulated by the unusually rythmic, in fact musical way in which Kotin varies intervals and directions of movement.”

Art Digest, 1951.  

Albert Kotin, Chinese Holiday, 1949
Oil and enamel on canvas, 36 x 22 inches
Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

In 1949 Albert Kotin joins THE CLUB and becomes a voting member.

The Abstract Expressionists were also identified as the New York School action 

painters. There wasn't any actual "New York School" where artists took classes; rather, the term is shorthand for a loose association of avant-garde artists who lived in New York in the mid-twentieth century, and who made art in the Abstract Expressionist style. The New York School artists in 1949 established a meeting place in New York's Greenwich Village, The Club, which became a hub of Abstract Expressionist debates and activities. 

Albert Kotin’s recollection:

“Also during these years The Club had been founded and I was a Voting Member (Member of the Board). We launched the Abstract-Expressionist Movement with the 9th Street Show. For some years this show was continued by the Stable Gallery as the New York Artists Annuals. I was in each of them.” 

From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection. All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

Albert Kotin exhibits at The Hacker Gallery


Albert Kotin’s recollection:


“The same year of the 9th St. Show, 1951, I had my first one-man show 

at the Hacker Gallery.”From Albert Kotin personal notes. Private collection. All rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1950

Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches

Illustrated:

American Abstract Expressionists of the 1950s page:191

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1950

Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 35 7/8

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

 

The urgent need for gallery space and public exposure resulted in the now famous “9th St.” Show in 1951 in New York City. 

Franz Kline, Poster for "9th St." Show, 1951

Linoleum cut, 16 x 8 1/2 inches

"New York Painting and Sculpture First Annual"

From the book:

New York School Abstract Expressionists: Artists Choice by Artists

© New York School Press, 2000

The “9th St.” Show made it clear that the definition of first and second generation 

Abstract Expressionists was misleading, often nothing more than a critical ploy to further historical and commercial acceptance of a limited number of artists showing with 

established galleries.

Albert Kotin participation in the 9th St. Show and all the New York Artists Annuals

Albert Kotin, Predators, 1951

Oil on canvas, 36 x 28 inches

Exhibited:

"9th St." Show, 1951

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1951

Oil on canvas, 57 x 37 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates.

Albert Kotin, Spanish Dancers, 1951

Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

Exhibited:

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1951

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates

Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1954

Oil on canvas, 70 x 58 inches

Illustrated:

New York School Abstract Expressionists: Artists Choice by Artists page:208

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates



Albert Kotin, Whispering Rain, 1957

Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates

Albert Kotin, Westerly, 1957

Oil on canvas, 69 x 79 inches

Illustrated:

American Abstract and Figurative Expressionism page: 141

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates

Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1957

Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates

"TENTH STREET ARTISTS:INDIVIDUALS PREVAIL OVER THE GROUP"


Tenth Street a Geography of Modern Art by Harold Rosenberg

1959. Art News Annual, XXVIII

     

                                                                              

                           

Albert Kotin, October, 1958-59

Oil on canvas, 50 x 38 inches

Exhibited:

Grand Central Modern, 1958

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates

 

Albert Kotin, Tropic, 1958

Oil on canvas, 50 x 38 inches

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum; Bequest of Albert Kotin

Exhibited:

Hans Hofmann and his Students, 1963-64An Exhibition Circulated by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Illustrated:American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s: An Illustrated Survey page: 192

Private collectionAll rights reserved by the artists or his delegates

Albert Kotin is included in the books:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the books may be obtained at:

 

 


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