New York School, The
| Image Notes
The New York School, front to rear, Row Number 1: Empty seat, Ad Reinhardt, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko; Row Number 2: Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Barnet Newman, James Brooks; Row Number 3: Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Willem de Kooning, Theodoros Stamos; Row Number 4: Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock.
In 1994 George Deem wrote that the first seat in New York School is empty because there is one artist missing. Deem writes, "His name
is Bradley Tomlin and on the chalkboard his name is written 'B. L. Tomlin' and crossed out because he died before the New York School of Abstract Expressionism was identified as such." Bradley Tomlin's initials were not B. L. Tomlin; his full name was Bradley Walker Tomlin. Born in 1899, he died in 1953. In 1950, Bradley Tomlin participated in a 3-day symposium of artists held in New York to discuss the abstract art movement in New York. Names suggested at this symposium for the yet-to-be-named movement included Abstract-Expressionist, Abstract-Objectivist, and Abstract-Symbolist.
(In George Deem's New York School) the names to be found on the blackboard under a framed print of a completed portrait of Washington next to a window looking out onto the Empire State Building (a remark by Washington is said to have led to New York being nicknamed the Empire State) include those of Rothko, De Kooning, Motherwell and Pollock, but the figures themselves are all dressed alike in dark blue suits. (Margaret A. Rose, Pictorial Irony, Parody, and Pastiche: Comic interpictoriality in the arts of the 19th and 20th centuries, Aisthesis Verlag, 2011.191).
A detail of The New York School was reproduced on the cover of Art School by George Deem, Thames & Hudson, London, 2005.
The painting was reproduced on the cover and as a frontispiece of Literacies of Power: What Americans are not allowed to know by Donaldo Macedo, Westview Press, 1995.
The New York School was reproduced on the cover of the fall 1994 issue of The Nyborg Gymnasium's school publication Semesternyt in Nyborg, Denmark.
In The New York School George Deem positions himself (the painter) as the teacher directing the attention of the students in the class room on him. He does this again in School of Rembrandt.
| Artist's Notes
You ask me why the first seat in NEW YORK SCHOOL is empty. There is one artist missing. He name is Bradley Tomlin and on the chalkboard his name is written "B. L. Tomlin" (sic) and crossed out because he died before the New York School of Abstract Expressionism was identified as such. (George Deem, letter to Jay Friedenberg, July 11, 1994 (see Image Note))
Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, Indiana