What is Abstract Painting?


Join Westbeth Abstract Painters Group for a presentation on abstract painting from four historical cultural periods: Chinese, Romanticism, Russian Supermatism, and Twentieth Century to present.

It is claimed that abstract painting has exhausted all its formal possibilities and has reached its end. The common standard and misunderstood view of modern abstract painting is about haunted view of the empty canvas: what is not figurative, not narrative, not pictorial illusion, and not literary.

The discussion will center on how the pictorial spaces of abstract paintings are the potentials of the not quite real.

This is a shift or turning away from pure and empty space to un-centered, unlimited, informal and multiple layers in paintings. To understand abstract pictorial space and its potentiality, one needs to start with abstractions in order to end up with abstractions.


Alison Armstrong has taught literature and art critical writing in colleges for over 40 years including The Cooper Union, Marist, the New School, and, since 2002, at the School of Visual Art and in 2016 art history at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College. She is an active member of Japanese Artists Association of New York (JAA); of the James Joyce Society of New York; of Artists Without Walls; of Glucksman Ireland House, and is on the Board of the W.B. Yeats Society of New York.

Alison Armstrong received an M.A. in English from The Ohio State University in 1972, the M.Litt. from Oxford University (UK) in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University in 1989.

Her paintings and small sculptures, exhibited since 1980 at Westbeth Gallery and Tenri Gallery (with Japanese Artists Association), are held in private collections in several countries.

Parviz Mohassel , architect, painter, and philosopher has shown in numerous groups and solo shows in NYC, Maine, Connecticut. He has a Ph.D degree in philosophy from New School for Social Research. His dissertation related phenomenology to visual art and architecture.

He studied painting at NYC Art Students League and later with Dan Rice in Madison, CT. He has a Masters in Urban Design, and another Masters in Architecture and is a licensed architect. He has been guest lecturer at Stony Brook University and Parson School of Art.

His most recent painting show, 2013, FREE VARIATION a group show at Westbeth Gallery featured paintings bearing upon ambiguity and place. He also was part of the Westbeth Printmakers Show in 2016 with work dealing with time.

Robert Ludwig received a B.S. in physics at The George Washington University and did graduate work at Princeton University. Then he received a B.A. in Painting and Sculpture with a minor in mathematics at the University of Minnesota. He studied drawing at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

He shows at the Carter Burden Gallery in Chelsea. He has two shows coming up at Carter Burden, one in July and the other in September. He has exhibited at the Westbeth Gallery since 1990 and had a one-man show there in 2013. He will be in a group show this summer in the Westbeth Project Room.

He is a member of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors.

He has taught physics at City College, CUNY. He now teaches art at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.

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