top of page

A Journey Into The Unknown

17/05/24 - 15/06/24
Haricot Gallery is pleased to present ‘A Journey into the Unknown’ a group show bringing together eight abstract painters in London.
‘To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.’
(Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko (with the assistance of Barnett Newman), Letter to Edward Alden Jewell, Art Editor, The New York Times, June 7, 1943).
In June 1943, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko exhibited their new paintings in an exhibition of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. Edward Alden Jewell, a senior critic at the New York Times, gave a lukewarm review of the show, focusing on Gottlieb and Rothko. In response, Rothko and Gottlieb decide to pen a letter directly to Jewell. The letter highlighted five aesthetic beliefs that were central to the artists' new direction; Art is an exciting journey into the unknown, meant for those ready to take risks. Imagination goes wild and defies common sense in the art world. Artists want viewers to see things their way, not the usual way. They like simple ideas shown with big, impactful shapes, keeping things flat and truthful. Painting isn't just about skill; it should have a meaningful, timeless story, inspired by primitive and ancient art. This letter served as the first formal statement of concerns of the artists who became known as the Abstract Expressionists. These concepts came about long before people typically talk about Abstract Expressionism. However, the ideas presented in this letter were essential to the foundation of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
A Journey into the Unknown’ takes its title from one of the key principles outlined in the famous letter by Gottlieb and Rothko. It’s no illusion that this movement was dominated by men, with female artists consistently overlooked. In recent times, there has been a shift; the ‘all-boys club’ that defined abstract expressionism has been rightfully challenged. ‘A Journey into the Unknown' serves as a powerful rebuttal to this neglect, shining a spotlight on eight of the most exciting female abstract painters in London. By delving into the unknown territories of form, emotion, and colour, these artists redefine the essence of abstract painting in today's world. The exhibition continues a conversation that explores the ever-evolving landscape of abstract art, contemplating what it truly means to be an abstract painter in our contemporary era.
List of Works
bottom of page