Subtle Resistance

Grace Hartigan and Joan Mitchell at the Anderson Gallery

Subtle Resistance at the Anderson Gallery is about how artists Grace Hartigan and Joan Mitchell survived and prospered in the male-dominated abstract expressionist art world of the 1950s and 1960s, partly due to the moral as well as financial support of gallerist Martha Jackson, partly by means of artistic strategies they employed to make art that was neither quite in the abstract expressionist mold nor completely alien to the prevailing aesthetic currents of that cold war era.

Abstract expressionism was alternatively defined by the two towering art critics of the era, Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg, as “formalism,” as Greenberg decreed, about the materials of artmaking, paint on a flat canvas, and “action painting,” as Rosenberg

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