Across Europe and the United States, Mathieu (1921–2012) played a decisive role within abstraction in the late 1940s and early 1950s, during the movement’s burgeoning. He diverted from the geometrical abstractions that dominated the previous era with a visual language that favoured form over content and gesture over intent, and aimed for uninhibited creative expression. He termed this newfound aesthetic 'Lyrical Abstraction', after a description of his work by French critic Jean José Marchand (1947). His works are characterised by a calligraphic quality of line that he created using long brushes and by applying paint directly from tubes onto the canvas. The immediacy and rapid execution of these distinct methods guaranteed the freedom with which he defined his work. According to Clement Greenberg, Mathieu was the most powerful amongst European painters. Mathieu’s work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, and is included in more than 80 museums and public permanent collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Kunstmuseum Basel; the Kunsthaus Zurich; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Tate, London.
Find out what's happening in New York beyond The Armory Show, which returns to New York from 9 to 12 September 2021.
The venture will occupy a Parisian townhouse when it opens in 2021.