Long Island's art scene
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Often called the New York School of painters, these artists represent what is considered by many to be the first original American art movement. “Many of them have not received the recognition they deserve,” Willers said. “While this can’t be a comprehensive overview, we make a good stab at looking at the broad history.”
Most of the paintings on display belong to three private collections, two of which are from Long Island. Many of these works have never before been exhibited. “These collectors were very generous in lending works that are often left out of the history of abstract expressionism, but are seminal contributions,” Willers said.
The paintings range in size from very small (what Willers calls “little gems”) to large abstractions that take over an entire wall. “We put in the largest pieces that we could possibly accommodate,” he said. “When you come upon them they will overwhelm your field of vision.”
The exhibit encompasses a real sense of what abstract expressionism is all about, according to Willers. “There’s so much to see and so many revelations,” he said. “Each painter has a fascinating history and made amazing contributions to the movement. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to become more familiar with their works, many of which are rarely seen on public display. The show has a wonderful rhythm and I’m glad to see that everyone is enjoying it
Of course, NCMA continues to offer related programming to enhance the viewing experience. Schueler, the subject of the 28-minute film “Jon Schueler: A Life in Painting,” is being screened four times a day throughout the exhibition. Another film, “Abstract Expressionism,” is also being screened daily during the exhibit period.