Mildred Hermann, Joseph Stefanelli & Yvonne Thomas: Titans Within the Rough

February 1 - March 18, 2018



Denise Bibro Fine Art is pleased to announce Titans Within the Rough, February 1 – March 18, a charged exhibition emphasizing the spontaneity and improvisation of what was considered a radical direction in modern art and now is a well-established movement that continues to influence current artists today. Featuring five eclectic artists, the exhibition showcases unique visions of entrenched gestural processes that were unearthed and celebrated in the peak period of Abstract Expressionism from the forties onward.

Artists such as Franz Kline, De Kooning, and Jackson Pollock are some of the Titans of the era. Above all, the movement was one of painters; these figurative painters of the 1930’s that had experienced The Great Depression eventually committed themselves to expression through abstraction. In Critic Harold Rosenberg’s essay “The American Action Painters”, the act of painting is the underlying impulse for the mode of creation, therefore “extinguishing the object.” This, what was once, an unappreciated and rejected movement has become not only a part of Art History but continues to be a part of the creation of art. Contrasting the color field painters of the likes of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, Abstract Expressionism combines the hand and the experience as one event. “The big moment came when it was decided to paint…just to paint.”

This exhibition is comprised of artists that were influenced by previously mentioned titans and who worked at the same time as them during the peak of the movement. They are first and second generation artists who work in the abstract expressionist mode. John Hultberg, Joseph Stefanelli and Yvonne Thomas were peers of the Titans that are better known. They all socialized in the infamous Cedar Tavern in the West Village. They knew, respected and some exhibited in the same venues. For whatever reasons these artist, as equally deserving as the better known Abstract Expressionist, did not get all the acclamation of their counterparts. In these times where famous artists works are scarce these diamonds in the roughs, as fate may have it, are getting attention they deserve.