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Blue Night

Blue Night, 1970, Serigraph
Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903 – 1974)

Adolph Gottlieb was born in 1903 in New York. After studying in both Paris and New York at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and Cooper Union, Gottlieb began to show regularly as a member of the emerging New York School. In 1935, he joined forces with artists including Mark Rothko and William Baziotes to form the Ten, a group committed to abstraction and expressionism. While Gottlieb’s earliest paintings were depictions of American life, he developed a symbol-driven line of abstract painting that garnered international renown. Gottlieb was the first American to win the Grand Prize at the São Paulo Biennial in 1963 and was the first of his contemporaries to be collected by major institutions like the Guggenheim and MoMa. He was the subject of 36 solo exhibitions throughout his lifetime.

This 1970 piece, Blue Night, is a screenprint that was printed at the height of Gottlieb’s career. The work highlights Gottlieb’s many strengths. As a masterful colorist, he has accomplished a vibrant combination of hues. The subtle composition highlights his iconic shapes–in this case a circle and two rectangles.