After watching this interview with Newman I thought only he can describe his work and philosophy correctly so here he is. I found this fascinating because I have been a “window painter” as he describes and I realize what his paintings are about now after watching this short video.
Barnett Newman (January 29, 1905 – July 4, 1970) was an American artist. He is seen as one of the major figures in abstract expressionism and one of the foremost of the color field painters. Newman was born in New York City, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland He studied philosophy at the City College of New York and worked in his father’s business manufacturing clothing. From the 1930s he made paintings, said to be in an expressionist style, but eventually destroyed all these works.
A well-respected writer and critic who also organized exhibitions and wrote catalogs, Newman later became a member of the Uptown Group. Newman is generally classified as an abstract expressionist on account of his working in New York City in the 1950s, associating with other artists of the group and developing an abstract style which owed little or nothing to European art. However, his rejection of the expressive brushwork employed by other abstract expressionists such as Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko, and his use of hard-edged areas of flat color, can be seen as a precursor to post painterly abstraction and the minimalist works of artists such as Frank Stella.
Newman was unappreciated as an artist for much of his life, being overlooked in favour of more colorful characters such as Jackson Pollock. The influential critic Clement Greenberg wrote enthusiastically about him, but it was not until the end of his life that he began to be taken really seriously. He was, however, an important influence on many younger painters.
Perhaps more videos like this would make the Happy Birthday section more interesting. Comments, thought? Let me know.