Mary Abbott American, 1921-2019

Biography

 

Mary Abbott belonged to the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. Born in New York City to a lineage tracing back to John Adams, her childhood was one of privilege. Her early interest in art led her to enroll at the Art Students League under George Grosz and later studied with Eugene Weiss at the Corcoran Museum School in Washington D.C. She soon met the sculptor David Hare, through whose introduction she befriended Willem de Kooning, enrolled in the experimental Subject of the Artist School founded by Robert Motherwell, and became a member of the Artist’s Club, along with Perle Fine and Elaine de Kooning. Mary drew her inspiration from nature and her passion for travel. She was soon making towering canvases characterized by sweeping brushstrokes merged into dense swarms of paint, many inspired by her winter trips to Haiti and the Virgin Islands with her second husband.