Oct 26, 2011 - Sale 2258

Sale 2258 - Lot 421

Price Realized: $ 6,960
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 8,000
American Abstract Artists Group First Portfolio.

Complete group of 30 lithographs, lithograph title page and lithograph table of contents, 1937. 233x305 mm; 9 1/8x12 inches (sheets), full margins, loose as issued.

Edition of approximately 500. Issued by the American Abstract Artists Group, New York, to commemorate their innaugural exhibition at the Squibb Galleries, New York, 1937, this seminal exhibition spurred the growth of Abstract Expressionsim and the New York School through the 1940s and 1950s.


According to Susan C. Larsen, " Five hundred copies were printed and sold for fifty cents at Squibb Gallery. Only a few are known to be extant; a complete portfolio is on file with the Archives of American Art," (The American Abstract Artists: A Documentary History 1936-1941, Archives of American Art Journal, volume 14, number 1, 1975, p. 3).

In 1937, one year after the establishment of the American Abstract Artists (AAA) group, a General Prospectus was issued that called for the exposure and understanding of abstract and non-objective art through the exhibition of its artwork. That same year, on April 2nd, 39 of its members exhibited their work at the the very first AAA exhibition at Squibb Gallery. This was the largest and most attended American abstract art exhibition outside of a major museum in the 1930s. On occasion of this momentus exhibition, the AAA did not print an exhibition catalogue but produced a portfolio of original zinc plate lithographs, 30 of which are included in this lot. Among the AAA were forerunners of the abstract art movement in America, such luminaries as Josef Albers,Werner Drewes, Bryon Browne and Burgoyne Diller and others.