Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903–1974), Masquerade, 1945

Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903–1974), Masquerade, 1945. Oil and tempera on cnvas, 36 x 24 inches. The High Museum of Art Atlanta; Purchase with High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund and 20th Century Art Acquisition Fund; Accession no. 2000.201. © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Masquerade is a classic example of Adolph Gottlieb’s pictographic style, imbued with a feeling of foreboding that is accentuated by its dark tonality. Mysterious faces emerge from the depth of the painting as if recalled from a dream. Ostensibly a display of tribal masks, Gottlieb reinforced this reading with earthy hues and textures. At the same time, the title he chose for the work directs attention to the use of masks throughout history and across cultures to act out ancient myths and rituals. The artist kept this painting with him throughout his life, and upon his death it became part of the foundation that bears his name, The Gottlieb Foundation, which awards grants to support the work of living artists.

Source: The High Museum of Art – Permenant Collection – Collection Highlights

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