Left: Ernest Briggs, “Untitled” (1959), oil on canvas, 82 x 74 inches; Center: Ernest Briggs, “Untitled” (1958), oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches; Right: Ernest Briggs, “Untitled” (1958), oil on canvas, 94 x 69 inches

The Anita Shapolsky Gallery is pleased to present Ernest Briggs: Four Decades of Abstract Expressionism, a selection of paintings by Ernest Briggs, a prominent second generation abstract expressionist.

Briggs was born in San Diego, California in 1923. He studied painting at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco under the faculty assembled by Douglas MacAgy, including Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, and Clyfford Still, who befriended Briggs and had a lasting influence on him. Briggs moved to New York in 1953, where he had many one man shows at the Stable Gallery, participated in several Whitney Museum Annuals, and in 1956 was included by Dorothy Miller in MOMA’s powerful exhibition Twelve Americans.

Firmly grounded in the fundamentals of the Abstract Expressionist tradition, Briggs’ active involvement in the development of the scene has had lasting influence on successive generations. Many of his abstract paintings have a breezy composition, conveying the changing qualities of the natural world. The colors are pure and emotional; the brush strokes almost volcanic. Through his passion and explosive energies, Briggs was able to bring new life to American abstract expressionism, embodying the words of Georges Braque: “If painting doesn’t disquiet, what is it?”

With this exhibition, the gallery is thrilled to continue its legacy as a space for the appreciation of abstract art.

For more information, email anitashapolsky@gmail.com or call 212-452-1094.

Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday, 11am–6pm. Saturday by appointment.

Ernest Briggs: Four Decades of Abstract Expressionism continues at Anita Shapolsky Gallery (152 East 65th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan) through June 15.

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