Adolph Gottlieb: A Survey Exhibition
It might surprise us to learn that Adolph Gottlieb considered himself to be a conceptual artist. It is hard for us to imagine any painter as a conceptual artist. Don’t conceptual artists make their statements with pickled sharks and soiled beds? This survey at the Jewish Museum includes early paintings heavily influenced by Milton Avery and Giorgio de Chirico, several of the pictographs of the 1940s (Gottlieb’s most interesting phase), transitional works from the early 1950s, and examples of the trademark minimal and large canvases he painted in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this review I will focus on the pictographs, which in my opinion are among the best pictures painted by an American in the twentieth century.