The comradeship and symbiosis that existed between Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko during the 1930s has never been the focus of a gallery exhibition. Knoedler & Company and independent curator E.A. Carmean Jr have organised an important show devoted to the works produced by these three artists in Provincetown during the summer of 1957 when they came together once again. By the mid 50s each artist had achieved recognition and was on the verge of being given a major museum retrospective. This exhibition (until 15 August) includes the paintings on paper that were a product of the summer’s collaboration, superb examples being Rothko’s two pivotal studies for his mural in New York City’s Seagram building. In addition to the works on paper Mr Carmean has chosen such splendid paintings as Avery’s “Sunset Sea” of 1958, Gottlieb’s powerful “Blast II” of 1957 (above) and a study for Rothko’s Harvard Mural “Panel Two”, which has never before been exhibited in the United States. The exhibition’s catalogue includes personal observations and new writings by Sean Avery Cavanaugh, William Scharf, Christopher Rothko and an introductory essay by Mr Carmean.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Coming to light: a very Gottlieb Rothko'