A unique offering from a second generation Abstract Expressionist
Art historian Robert Solomon has just contributed the Joseph Stapleton: Self-Portraits collection to the Artstor Digital Library. Below, he provides a perspective on the artist and his significant output of self-portrait drawings.
Joseph Stapleton (1921-1994) was one of an estimated 400 artists who poured into New York City’s Tenth Street area following the close of World War II. According to historian Irving Sandler, they were attracted to this specific location by the presence of, among others, Willem de Kooning’s studio. Sandler referred to this group of artists born between 1920 and 1930 as Abstract Expressionism’s second generation. Over the next twenty years this second generation would be impacted by a variety of economic and social influences. These conditions would produce only a handful of names we recognize today.