Skip to Content

Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor - Lecture by Sanford Hirsch

Sandy Hirsch2 1

Sanford Hirsch, curator of Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor (on view at UMMA September 21, 2013-January 5, 2014), and Director of the Gottlieb Foundation in New York will give a lecture exploring the contributions of Adolph Gottlieb in shaping twentieth century art. Along with his friends, fellow Abstract Expressionist artists Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, Barnett Newman and David Smith, Gottlieb embodied this art movement’s relentless striving for new forms of expression to which people could respond in a direct, sensory and emotional way. In 1943, Gottlieb wrote a joint manifesto with Rothko, published with in the NY Times: they wrote: To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks.” Gottlieb continuously sought new ideas and challenges, looking within and outside of Western ideas and traditions, across a fifty-year career. In 1967, the then 64-year-old artist was preparing for a career retrospective to be on view at both the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums. Gottlieb, who normally worked in two-dimensional media, began to make small sculptures. These rarely seen works, now on view at UMMA, show an artist with a mature command of form and color playfully engaged in the challenge of realizing his lifetime of knowledge in three-dimensional form. Writing about this experience, Gottlieb observed that it made him feel like a young sculptor, just beginning.” Sanford Hirsch is a curator, writer and the director of The Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Foundation. In addition to maintaining an archive and organizing exhibitions related to Gottlieb’s life and work, the foundation continues the commitment of the couple to support and encourage artists in their work. Hirsch has curated numerous exhibitions and written widely on the artist and the period. 

University of Michigan Museum of Art 
525 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 – 1354