American Abstract Artists

American Abstract Artists (AAA) is a democratic, artist-run organization, which exists to expand ideas and promote the exposure and understanding of abstract and non-objective art. AAA's mandate is to organize, circulate and promote abstract art in the following ways: organizing member exhibitions, producing member print portfolios and catalogues, distributing published materials internationally to cultural organizations, documenting member history in the Archives of American Art, publishing the AAA Journal every three years, and hosting critical panels and symposia.

Since its inception in 1936, the AAA has played a pivotal role in the evolution of abstraction in America. The AAA has produced over 75 exhibitions of its membership in museums and galleries across the country. The group has published 12 Journals, brochures or books and produced 3 print portfolios.

Past and current AAA members include major artists such as Burgoyne Diller, Piet Mondrian, Ad Reinhardt, Joseph Albers, Ruth Vollmer, Alexander Calder, Alfonso Ossorio, Betty Parsons, Lee Krasner, Robert Ryman, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Storr, and David Reed, to name a few.

Current projects being undertaken by the American Abstract Artists are an Exhibition of the current membership and the publication of AAA Journal #5.

Exhibition: An exhibition of the American Abstract Artists is slated for September 10 - November 12, 2005 at Yellow Bird Gallery in Newburgh, New York. The show is open to all 87 members of the AAA who wish to participate. Art critic/historian, Jill Conner, is curating the show and providing an essay for the brochure accompanying the exhibition. Ms. Conner is organizing a panel discussion taking place at Yellow Bird Gallery on October 30, 2005. The 5 member panel is comprised of David Cohen (curator/, Robert Morgan (art critic/writer), Robert Storr (artist/curator/educator and AAA member), Stephen Westfall (artist/writer and AAA member) and Karen Wilkin (art historian).

Journal: The publication of ON EDGE: AAA Journal #5 comes at an exciting moment as AAA redefines its "mission" for the post-post-modern era. In publishing Journals, the AAA remains dedicated to its tradition of dialogue and document, engaging the spontaneous, vibrant and continually fluid process of abstract art. ON EDGE: AAA Journal #5, offers innovative artworks, original visual projects, personal commentaries, critical statements, poems and studio conversations facing the acute challenges of art in these times of crisis.

ON EDGE is beautifully designed in full color with two main sections. One is devoted to exploring the current socio-political situation with articles such as "Activism and Abstraction" by Julian Jackson, Phong Bui's "Letter to the Artist", Lucio Pozzi's "Two Titans led a War", Liily Wei's "Artist's Forum on 9/11" and "Dark Edges" by Edwin Ruda. As historian Philip Glahn stated, "Political intervention through abstract art is ...expressed through the artwork's negation of political rhetoric and social hierarchies. By declaring its own autonomy, an abstract artwork can serve as a model for political freedom."

The second section delves into the studio, offering candid conversations with painters such as Karin Davie and Ruth Root and a biography of the late Ibram Lassaw. Original essays, both humorous and challenging, include Saul Ostrow's "Blunting the Edge: Instructions for the Knife Sharpener," The Raw and the Cooked by Deven Golden, The Endless End of Painting by Joan Waltemath, Richard Kalina's "Abstract Relations, Marking the Edges" and musicologist Nikki Cesare's "Music and Minimalism: Interdisciplinary Redefinition of Art through Music", as well as an edgy collaboration between Alex Katz and Robert Creeley.

For 30 contemporary artists and writers ON EDGE is a risky state, a point of departure, an interface between certainty and the unknown. As a result, works in this issue take many unpredictable forms including performance and poetry as well as painting and sculpture.

AAA Journals function as a forum for engaging the art community, a resource of historical interviews and documents and an educational outreach to new audiences. ON EDGE: AAA Journal #5 articulates, questions and opens a discourse for abstraction in a time of anxiety and awe, both in the political realm and in the studio. The Journal is engaged in the future of abstract and nonobjective art as an ethical necessity.

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