Mary Clyde Abbott born 1921 American Abstract Expressionism/ New York School Painters
Mary Abbott made her debut among the first generation of the American Abstract Expressionists, otherwise known as the New York School. Like many in her circle, Abbott shuttled frequently between Manhattan and the East End of Long Island. As a child, she had spent time at a family home in Southampton; by 1950, she had a house and studio there. Abbott received her artistic training in the late 1930s at the Corcoran School and the Art Students League, where she studied under George Grosz; her early work demonstrates a close engagement with Cubism and collage. In 1946 she set up a studio on Tenth Street in Manhattan. Her neighbor, the sculptor David Hare, introduced Abbott to the New York circle of the French Surrealist painter André Breton, and to the Subjects of the Artist school. Around this time Abbott also began a periodic romantic relationship with Willem de Kooning, whose Fourth Avenue studio was only minutes from her own. Abbott was a frequent habitué of the Artists' Club and Cedar Tavern. Despite the professional obstacles facing a female artist in this pre-feminist era, Abbott earned critical and public success by exhibiting at prominent New York galleries, including Samuel Kootz, Tanager, Tibor de Nagy, and the Stable. Her work was also featured in important surveys of contemporary drawing organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 1950 and 1956. During the mid 1970s Abbott taught painting at the University of Minnesota. She was among the first of her era to set up a studio in Manhattan’s revitalized SoHo district. A retrospective of Abbott’s work was organized by the McCormick Gallery, Chicago, in 2007.
First generation Abstract Expressionist Mary Abbott has had a house and studio in Southampton since 1950.