b'place for themselves in the postwar art scene, with gallery exhibitions andthe art dealer Peggy Guggenheim, and both were impressed, but Guggen-the respect of peers and contemporary critics. Yet they were not written intoheim never invited the artist to show at her influential gallery, Art of This the canon set down in museums and art history books. Why were art his- Centuryas was typical for her somewhat passiveaggressive reaction to torians excluding these artists solely on the grounds of gender and of race,woman artists in general, according to art historian Ellen G. Landau. 4as if being Black or a woman was itself an immediate disqualification fromWest had many artist friends, but later in life she became more isolated, having any art historical significanceor any at all ? asks the feminist artand although she continued to work, she had to live on welfare. She is said historian Griselda Pollock. 2And once you are excluded from museum col- to have had a broken doorbell and once wrote in a notebook, I just want to lections or left out of art-historical accounts, it is hard to get in, since thosepaint in peace. When she passed away in 1991, she was virtually unknown. are the sources to which it is easiest for the curators and writers of new ex- Her apartment was full of paintings, which the city was about to auction hibitions and new art history books to turn. off but were bought by a collector who had once acquired one of her works But things are changing.from a thrift store. In the last decade or so, major exhibitions have contributed to restor- Born twenty years later than West, Lynne Drexler was not a member of ing the reputation of many artists who were not white men from cities likethe first generation of Abstract Expressionist painters. In the late 1950s she New York and Paris, which were considered the centers of the art world. Inwas part of the dynamic art scene in Manhattans Greenwich Village, where February 2023, the touring exhibition Action, Gesture, Paint : Women Artistsartists such as Philip Guston, Grace Hartigan, Franz Kline, and Willem de and Global Abstraction 19401970 opened at Whitechapel Gallery, London.Kooning often met at the Cedar Tavern. Inspired by music and nature, she Another touring exhibition, Women of Abstract Expressionism, opened at thedeveloped her own almost Impressionistic vocabulary, featuring swatches Denver Art Museum in 2016. In 2009, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, organizedof intense color, sometimes in serpentine swirls reminiscent of Van Gogh. Elles, a large presentation of works by women represented in its collection,Other paintings are built up of patches of paint, like a mosaic. Drexler also and in 2021 it organized a comparable exhibition, Women in AbstractiontomadeembroideryandpatchworkrelatedtothePatternandDecoration mention just a few. Another revision of art history is the increasing recog- movement of the 1970s. nition of artists of color and from First Nations. In the last couple of years,After her marriage to the painter John Hultberg, in 1961, Drexlers career artists such as Ed Clark, Howardena Pindell, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith,suffered as she followed him through many relocations to places where he Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, and Frank Bowling have all had exhibitions intook teaching posts but where she had fewer chances of exhibiting. In 1967 major museums or gallery representation with prestigious and powerful gal- they returned to New York, where Drexler exhibited a certain amount, but leries, an indication of increased interest from the market. Museum exhibi- she felt alienated from an art scene now dominated by Pop art and other tions such as Soul of a Nation : Art in the Age of Black Power, organized bydevelopments. 5In 1983, the couple moved to their summerhouse on Monhe-Tate Modern in London and touring to many museums, have contributed togan Island, Maine. Here Drexlers paintings became more representational, this revision. extending to landscapes and still lifes. Like many abstract painters, she expressed the experiences and sensations of light and nature subjectively, Some Other Stories without always clearly distinguishing between abstraction and, say, land-scape painting. A revised art history shows plenty of international dialogue and exchangeBorn in Korea in 1940, Wook-kyung Choi went to the United States to over the decades. In the 1940s60s, for example, abstract art developedcontinue her education as an artist. Her work was influenced by Korean art away from Cubism and geometric abstraction toward gestural abstractioninformel as well as by American Abstract Expressionists such as Hartigan, not just in New York but in many places around the world. There were notPollock, and Robert Motherwell. Contrasting organic forms against linear only parallel, simultaneous movements, but also personal explorations moreshapes,hercompositionsarealwaysbalanced ;someweremadeafter or less independent of them. Not incorrectly, the French artist, critic, andsketches in ink, others were more spontaneous. They often feature vibrant curator Michel Tapi was keen to launch art informel and tachisme as acolors and bold brushstrokes, differing in this way from the Korean art of global movement, but we should not deny the importance of local contexts. 3 her time, which was dominated by Dansaekhwa (monochrome) painting, Certain places and moments can generate certain art, and art made in onecharacterized by a somber color palette and repetitive gestures. In the later part of the world can look rather similar to art made in another but can have1960s her work became more political, introducing collage and texts deal-other meanings, since meaning is dependent on context.ing with issues of racism and war. Many women artists and artists of color have made significant contri- The African American artist Ed Clark is credited as the first American butions to the development of abstract, gestural, and expressionist painting.painter to exhibit a shaped canvas, an innovation that became influential Michael (Corinne) West, born in 1908, was a painter, poet, essayist, and jour- enough to have an exhibition dedicated to it at New Yorks Guggenheim nal writer who closely analyzed developments in modern art. Up to the mid- Museum in 1964, including such artists as Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly.The traditional rectangular canvas has a long enough history with illusion-40s the structure of her paintings was grounded in Cubism, but after World War II, inspired by Surrealist poetry and its celebration of the unconscious,istic representation and it is often likened to a window ; artists working with she turned to what she called the New Mysticism in Painting and her workabstraction, especially Minimalist artists, wanted to move away from that became increasingly abstract, featuring gestural brushstrokes on unprimedassociation. Clark also laid his canvases on the floor and painted on them canvases. She would work with a palette knife to create a thick, rough sur- with a broom, which allowed him to make large, sweeping brushstrokes.face, squeezing the paint directly from the tube and sometimes adding sandBorn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1946, Stanley Whitney comes or found objects. The energetic brushstrokes are almost drawinglike, re- from a later generation than the Abstract Expressionist action painters, calling those of Vincent van Gogh. Pollock came to see Wests work, as didalthough he was interested in gestural abstraction in the early days of his'