Lyrical Abstraction

A wide abstract painting of bursts of pink color splotches spread over a vibrant yellow background

Image credit: Walter Darby Bannard, Viola Sudan #9, 1970, Acrylic on canvas. Collection of the Springfield Art Museum. 

Exhibit Details

November 26, 2022 - March 19, 2023
Armstrong Gallery

American Lyrical Abstraction developed as an art movement in the 1960s and 70s led by a group of artists including Dan Christensen, Larry Poons, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Natkin, and Sam Francis. These artists sought to expand the idea of abstract painting and to reassert the importance of the formal elements of line and color. Their work was created, in part, in reaction to the streamlined aesthetics, coolness, and political implications of Minimalist and Conceptual Art.  

Dubbed “lyrical abstractionists,” these artists made work characterized by loose gestural brushstrokes, acrylic staining, an emphasis on rich color, monumental scale, occasional imagery, and a return to a physical and direct sensory experience of painting.  

This exhibit features work by lyrical abstract artists in the Museum’s permanent collection including Poons, Natkin, Francis, Marlene Mueller, and Sharon Jesik, among others. 

Exhibit Resources

View the Exhibition Photo Album

Related Programs

Family Painting Workshop: Anything but a Paint Brush
Sunday, December 11, 2 PM

In this workshop, each group will receive one 24” x 36” canvas and work together to create an abstract painting – no paintbrushes allowed! Use your creativity to explore other methods of applying paint to the canvas for fun textures and shapes. $55 workshop fee includes all materials and covers a group of up to 5 people. Ages 5+

Slow-Viewing with Shauna LeAnn Smith: 

Saturday, March 11, 2:00 PM, Greybull by Robert P. Russel

Slow Viewing is a supportive practice for anyone who wants to develop their skills of interpretation, observation, and discussing art. Guests spend an hour carefully observing and speaking about the works on view, resulting in a deeper understanding of how they and others relate to the artwork and to each other. This program is facilitated by artist Shauna LeAnn Smith. This program is free, but space in-gallery is limited so pre-registration is required.

  1. Exhibit Support

A black and white logo that says Missouri Arts Council with an outline of the state of Missouri in t Opens in new windowWith public support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.