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Installations

YARES ART is pleased to present Friedel Dzubas: Affective Color, on view in New York, September 14-November 2, 2019. This exhibition, featuring major works by one of the seminal figures referred to under the rubric “Color Field” or “Post Painterly Abstractionists,” marks a special event for Yares Art as it also inaugurates the gallery’s expansion into a new additional exhibition space across the hall (formerly the Mary Boone Gallery). Dzubas often worked in large scale to create expansive, panoramic compositions; the combined gallery spaces allow Yares Art to offer a rare, full-view presentation of this artist’s remarkable achievement. The show features a fine example of his early, Abstract Expressionist-related works of the 1950s, through to his exquisite, signature paintings from the 1960s onward—immersive compositions with luminous soft-edge geometric shapes activating colorful, ethereal spaces, all realized by means of distinctive, bravura brushwork that is uniquely Dzubas.

One of the most ambitious twentieth-century abstract painters, Dzubas (1915-1994) is also perhaps the most traditional, particularly in the matter of his adherence to historic painterly techniques, with a special focus on the fresco painting of the late Baroque/Rococo master Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The passionate brushwork and the complex color relationships Dzubas favored in canvases such as First Run (1972), Blue Round (1973), and Coat of Arms (1982)—among the highlights of the show—both approach and reflect the celestial brilliance of Tiepolo’s work. Mural-size paintings by Dzubas, such as Procession (1975), another exhibition high point, with its rhythmic arrangement of vertical and horizontal rectangular forms, echo the epic scale and the lofty ambition of the best eighteenth-century painters in search of divine light and sublime space. Dzubas was born in Berlin in 1915 and was classified as a Mischling, a person of so-called mixed-race, as the son of a Jewish father and Catholic mother. Early on, he faced hurdles to his artistic education both from his practical-minded father, as well as from the state, which restricted full Jews as well as Mischling access to the Prussian Academy of Fine Arts.

On the eve of World War II, Dzubas immigrated to the United States, settling first in Virginia before moving to New York in 1941. Championed by the renowned critic Clement Greenberg, he met Jackson Pollock and many other Abstract Expressionists, becoming in 1948 a member of The Club, along with a coterie of artists that included Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Ad Reinhardt, among others. Dzubas shared a studio with Helen Frankenthaler in 1952, and his work of the period was included in numerous group exhibitions along with that of his like-minded peers. During this same year, his well-received solo debut at Tibor de Nagy was the start of a long and illustrious career. An influential teacher as well as an esteemed artist, Dzubas taught for some years at Cornell University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A career retrospective of his work was held in 1983 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. He died in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1994. Dzubas’s works are held in numerous prominent public and private collections throughout the world. These include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton.

FRIEDEL DZUBAS: AFFECTIVE COLOR is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Patricia L Lewy.

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