American Abstract Artists By Hartel, Jr., Herbert R.
The American Abstract Artists is a formally established organization of painters, sculptors, and printmakers that has been devoted to promoting abstraction in the United States since the late-1930s. The organization was established in New York City in 1936, at a time when American art was dominated by figurative, realistic styles, such as regionalism and social realism, which favored depicting everyday life and people and national historical subjects. It held several exhibitions over the subsequent years, including a large annual exhibition each winter from 1937 to 1941. It was most influential in the late-1930s through the mid-1940s. The membership grew to more than fifty artists at this time, and its most influential, its famous members have included Burgoyne Diller, Ilya Bolotowsky, George L. K. Morris, Balcomb Greene, Albert E. Gallatin, Alexander Calder, Suzy Frelinghuysen, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers, Jean Hélion, Carl Holty, Ad Rinehardt, Gertrude Greene, Stuart Davis, Charles Shaw, Vaclav Vytlacil, Jean Xceron, and David Smith. The American Abstract Artists group is often thought to have advocated a rather homogenous abstract style that was geometric, linear, and planar, but this is a broad oversimplification of the diversity of its membership.