Richard Pousette-Dart: Beginnings

A Young Abstract Expressionist in New York

Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, UK
October 23, 2018 through January 6, 2019


Kettle’s Yard is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in the UK of Richard Pousette-Dart. The exhibition will include painting, sculpture, works on paper and photography, revealing Pousette-Dart’s significant contribution to American abstraction, as demonstrated by his constant commitment to experimentation and renewal.

Richard Pousette-Dart: Beginnings will focus largely on the formative stages of the artist’s career, from the mid 1930s to early 1950s, during which time he was at the forefront of the genesis of the New York School and influenced a number of his peers, in particular Jackson Pollock who admired his early work.

Jim Ede, creator of Kettle’s Yard, met Pousette-Dart in New York in 1940 and thereafter the pair began a long-lasting written correspondence, with the vast majority of their dialogue taking place in the 1940s and 1950s. Through this lively and poetic discourse, they shared thoughts on poetry, music, nature and their mutual admiration for the work of the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891–1915). Over 200 of these letters survive, held between Kettle’s Yard and the Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation; this unpublished correspondence informs much of the new research for the exhibition.

Although Pousette-Dart is primarily remembered for his painting, this exhibition will include works on paper, photography and sculpture to demonstrate the fluidity with which Pousette-Dart moved between, and experimented with, different materials. Many of the works in the exhibition illustrate Pousette-Dart’s interest in symbols, spirituality and world art cultures.