The Poetry of Hope

Edward Corbett: May 2021
May 19, 2021
The Poetry of Hope

Edward Corbett (1919-1971) first caught my attention  during the Obama Administration,  when I learned that the President and First Lady had chosen  one of Corbett’s artworks to enjoy in the White House Residence.

Corbett worked at the intersection of East and West Coast Abstract Expressionism.   He was the only artist from outside New York City chosen 
for the landmark 1952 exhibition,15 Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art.


This seminal show highlighted the work of colleagues Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko,  Clyfford Still, William Baziotes, and others at the height of this movement.   In April 1952, Art News critic Thomas Hess singled Corbett out as “the most interesting new artist in the show”.


During his lifetime, Edward Corbett was thought of — by his peers and the art establishment alike  — as one of the most talented and influential 

Abstract Expressionist painters of his generation.


In this small glimpse of his work, we come to understand why his poetic, meditative artworks were so highly regarded during his lifetime -- and are now being rediscovered by admiring connoisseurs.  


Corbett himself in his artist’s statement for the exhibition at MoMA simply wrote:


I intend my work as poetry

About the author

Aaron Payne

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