John Altoon
Paintings and Works on Paper 1963-1968

(Curated by Klaus Kertess)
4 September to 25 October 2008
745 Fifth Avenue


On 4 September 2008, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location an exhibition curated by Klaus Kertess of paintings and works on paper from 1963 to 1968 by JOHN ALTOON.

John Altoon (1925-1969) was one of the progenitors of the Los Angeles art scene, a native son who studied there in the late 1940s, left for a few pivotal years in New York, and returned to synthesize this first-hand exposure to Abstract Expressionism with West Coast lyricism and ideology. Two 1964 paintings in the show display Altoon’s combination of raw gestural marks and allover abstraction with organic shapes and playful color.

In various series of drawings, Altoon employed a shaky ink line that conveys the essence of all-over abstraction, although these works are starkly representational, even cartoonish. Their subjects are satirical and erotic, amusing and grotesque, usually involving nude men and women in everyday situations turned fantastic.

The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will run through 25 October 2008. A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Klaus Kertess will be available at the Gallery. Please contact the Gallery if we can be of further assistance, or visit our website