The National Arts Club and the Libbie Mark Provincetown Fund present Art of the Abstract Mark: Libbie Mark’s Collage Paintings and Other Works, 1950s–1960s. Almost 30 works by the innovative Abstract Expressionist Libbie Mark are on view through February 25.
Art of the Abstract Mark: Libbie Mark’s Collage Paintings and Other Works, 1950s–1960s, at the NAC’s landmark clubhouse on Gramercy Park in New York City, is free to the public and open daily from 10am to 5pm. A gallery talk with art critic and author Joan Marter and LMPF Curator Jennifer Uhrhane is scheduled for February 16, RSVP to attend here. A full-color catalogue is available for purchase in the gallery and at libbiemark.com.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Mark divided her time between art communities in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. She studied with and had connections to significant 20th-century artists, including Grace Hartigan, Hans Hofmann, and Vaclav Vytlacil. Throughout the 1960s, Mark was also an active participant in the Vectors, an artists group whose membership featured unusually high female representation for the time.
Mark created uniquely textured paintings by incorporating tissue paper and other materials into the paint. Unlike many other mid-century female artists, due to the support of her family, Mark was able to paint, take classes, and exhibit her work. However, hers was not the case of a comfortable housewife with a hobby. The extent and duration of Mark’s artistic activity, the quality of the work, the clear drive, and her related life decisions demonstrate her serious commitment to her art.
After almost 80 years, the creative energy that surged through the art world in the United States during the post-war era still vibrates. Abstract Expressionism and its mostly male-dominant stars continue to hold power. However, the present climate provides an opportunity for re-narration. Mark, an understudied but innovative artist, deserves renewed attention. Although her life was cut short at age 66, the body of work she left behind demonstrates a unique freshness and verve.