Daniel A. Siedell

Lecture 1: The Tragedy of Abstract Expressionism
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In 1952 the critic Harold Rosenberg declared that these new painters had "broken down every distinction between art and life." Yet this breakdown brought with it serious consequences for the practice of painting. "The Tragedy of Abstract Expressionism" explores a darker side of the movement, suggesting the work of these artists must be regarded as a desperate attempt to act meaningfully in the world through painting.


Daniel A. Siedell is Director of Whale & Star. Previously he was Professor of modern and contemporary art history, theory, and criticism at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Director of Special Projects at Whale & Star, Miami, Florida. He was Chief Curator at the Sheldon Museum of Art (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) for eleven years, where he organized numerous exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. He has a B.A. in art history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, M.A. from SUNY-Stony Brook, and a Ph.D. from The University of Iowa. His dissertation addressed the history, criticism, and theory of Abstract Expressionism. Siedell was recently appointed a Fellow at the Center for the Theology of Cultural Engagement, Portland, Oregon. Among Siedell's many publications on Abstract Expressionism is Weldon Kees and the Arts at Mid-Century (University of Nebraska Press, 2004). His essay "In Search of the Historical Abstract Expressionism" has just been published by the Journal of Aesthetic Education.

Diana Clarke