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Classification: Print

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Image of Green Foreground

Adolph Gottlieb
American, 1903–1974

Green Foreground


Object Type: Print
22 in. x 24 in. (55.88 cm x 60.96 cm)
Medium and Support: Screen print on paper
Accession Number: 2009.0003.0003

Credit Line: Gift of Lila Franco in memory of her husband, Ralph Franco
Copyright: © The Estate of Adolph Gottlieb / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In 1951, prominent Abstract Expressionist painter Adolph Gottlieb began working on the series "Imaginary Landscapes," of which "Green Foreground" is a part. The series began after a period of transition for the artist; he wanted to find a way to merge ideas of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. He stated, “I hit on dividing the canvas into two parts, which then became like an imaginary landscape… What I was really trying to do …was to make this notion of the kind of polarity [between the two art movements] clearer and more extreme.”
In "Green Foreground," Gottlieb created an image that simultaneously functions as both an abstract composition and a visionary landscape. By splitting the image in two, the artist alluded to a horizon line while still presenting a flat image. There is no illusion of space; rather, each shape hovers on the same plane. The colors and imaginary terrain are reminiscent of his surroundings in Arizona, an area where Gottlieb lived for a brief period later in life.

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