1903 - New York - 1974
Adolph Gottlieb was a major proponent and committed advocate of the 'New York School'. Together with Mark Rothko, he wrote a now famous manifesto on their art in 1943; it was published in the New York Times. Gottlieb was convinced that only a completely new form of art was capable of conveying true emotions after the trauma of World War II. In his 'Pictographs', started in 1941, he used symbols that he had designed himself, inserting them in a grid. They were meant to communicate ideas or emotions already inherent in the viewer. These symbols became more and more abstract in his oeuvre. In his later works, he endeavoured to convey the complexity of modern life in the simplest possible way, using colour and space. A fine example are his 'Imaginary Landscapes' with a stylised sun as their main motif, or the 'Burst Paintings' which revolve around the relationship of two opposite forms. Gottlieb took part in documenta II in Kassel in 1959. In 1968, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum, both in New York, devoted large retrospectives to his work.