Leaders in Abstraction: Self, Story, Place, and Time

“Abstraction is what resounds when you take away almost everything that can be recognized and work with the visual language of line, shape and color. This approach encourages the viewer to use personal experiences to interpret what they see. This exhibit is a rich landscape of things you cannot hold on to–a suggestion of forms, the evidence of the artist, and the space in which they exist.”

Rebecca George, Curator
Amy Vidra, Swell, 2021

Abstract art is often defined by what it is not; by the lack of attempt to represent objects or convey a narrative. But abstract art is about something. This month at The Art House Gallery, we find artists exploring the themes of self, story, place and time through the multifarious techniques of abstraction.

Alena Ahrens, Chastity, 2018
Leaders in Abstraction
Alena Ahrens, Chastity, 2018

Regarding self and story, the paintings of Alena Ahrens are gorgeous mediations in accordance with her interest in human psychology and self-awareness. Amy Vidra (Swell, shown above) writes that her lively, vibrant and energetic abstractions are about “the stories we tell ourselves. Maybe the ones we tell that aren’t true, the ones that we’ve told a thousand times, that in memory don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end.” Almudena Pintado describes her work as allegorical, related to stories about happiness, challenge, and childhood.

Alumudena Pintado, Serie III - 08, 2021
Alumudena Pintado, Serie III – 08, 2021

Regarding place, the landscape has always been a staple of abstract painting as with Kevin McGoff’s delightful treatment of the New England shore. For artists Martisa Dragonas, Manoel Viega, and Jane Michalski, earth is the place and the focus is nature.

Australian artist Maritsa Micos draws inspiration from weather patterns. Brazilian artist Manoel Veiga, a physicist by training, considers his works analogous to the natural landscape because they are created by the same physical processes of fluid dynamics. On the other hand, Michalski’s work is often rooted in her emotional connection to the landscape of the American Midwest and inspires us to appreciate the enduring presence of the earth, our “rock” in every sense of the term.

Regarding time, abstraction can capture a moment, past or present. With WTF Rona, Bobo-Ligon captures the global frustration wrought by recent events. Too Much TV by Daniel Martin Sullivan captures a feeling of sickness induced by an overdose of media.

Michael Cortese’s abstraction, High Dive, is a nostalgic reference to a shared emotional memory that often becomes a metaphor for other terrifying, exhilarating moments throughout life.

Micheal Cortese, High Dive, 2021

Leaders in Abstraction, Volume I, at The Art House Gallery is on view exclusively online from May 1-May 30, 2021 at the The Art House Gallery. The exhibition that showcases outstanding work from contemporary artists working throughout the world including: Alena Ahrens (Missouri; USA), Bernard Bahr (Ilinois; USA), Sarah J. Berman (Illinois; USA), Michael Cortese (New Jersey; USA), Maritsa Micos (Sydney; Australia), Michael Doering (Nevada; USA), Ken Hogrefe (Illinois; USA), Kevin McGoff (Massachusetts; USA), Jane Michalski (Illinois; USA), Delphine MOTEL (LE LOROUX, France), Deborah W. Perlman (Florida, USA), Almundena Pintado (Berne; Switzerland), Micheline Ronningen (Oregon; USA), Daniel Martin Sullivan (Illinois; USA), Steven Tritt (Illinois; USA), Amy Vidra (California, USA), Manoel Veiga (São Paulo, Brazil), Christine Wesolowski (Illinois; USA), Mark Wojcik (New Jersey; USA), Ka-El Zakiah (Illinois; USA). The exhibition runs the month of May 2021.


  1. Amy Vidra’s painting Swell is not downloading. You refer to it in your comment as above but it isn’t there. Please fix this so we can see her painting!
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you like the work. 🙂 I’m not sure I understand what you mean by widespread?

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