The West Coast Underground

Sweet siren Google,
Alert me to the allusions of asymptomatic articles!
Sing to me of Smith and Bontecou, too…

This morning, I received an e-mail alerting me to a new article in the NY Times about a series of monographs on “obscure” abstract artists of the mid-twentieth century.  Among these, Hassel Smith, who is described as, “…once mentioned along with abstract masters like de Kooning, Kline and Motherwell, then devolved to “West Coast underground legend,” then (kind of) vanished.”

Here is the slideshow:

Ah, the West Coast Underground… my old stomping grounds.  I was more of a imaginary figment than a legend there, but I find great comfort in knowing that great minds and spirits like Hassel preceded me.  Having curated two exhibitions from his estate, I find it somehow fitting to hear him described as “underground.”


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