About This Artwork

Adolph Gottlieb
American, 1903-1974

Crypt, 1945–47

Gouache on cream wove paper
455 x 608 mm
17 7/8" x 23 7/8"

Restricted gift of Adele and Willard Gidwitz, 1990.446

Art © The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

In 1941 Adolph Gottlieb began a series of paintings and drawings called Pictographs. The pictographs represent the artist’s first efforts at reconciling elements of abstraction with an exploration of the unconscious drawn from Surrealism. His aim was to create a new, uniquely American expression that would bring significant content to abstraction. The ideas Gottlieb explored in Pictographs are so varied and complex that the series occupied him for more than 10 years. Crypt was created in the course of Gottlieb’s intensive exploration of the pictograph theme.

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