American Abstract Artists Come to Kent State University

Kent State University’s School of Art Gallery will present its new exhibit American Abstract Artists: A Selection, curated by Scott Olson and Gianna Commito, now through Nov. 22.

The School of Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the School of Art building.

American Abstract Artists, founded in New York in 1936, is a democratic, artist-run organization dedicated to promoting abstract and non-objective art. The group organizes exhibitions, sponsors critical panels and produces member portfolios and catalogs. Curators Olson and Commito juried works submitted by American Abstract Artist members in bringing together the exhibit.

“We tried to represent a wide range of techniques and approaches to abstraction so that our audience would have a variety of ways of appreciating the work,” says Commito, who is also an associate professor of painting at the School of Art. “Some artists reference objects that exist in the real world, while others respond to the materials and techniques they employ in the studio. We hope this show allows for many different entry points for experiencing abstract art.”

The artists they chose for the exhibit are Susan Bonfils, Marvin Brown, Gail Gregg, Daniel G. Hill, Gilbert Hsiao, James Juszczyk, Cecily Kahn, Marthe Keller, Irene Lawrence, David Mackenzie, Manfred Mohr, Judith Murray, Raquel Rabinovich, David Reed, Edward Shalala, Vera Vasek, Merrill Wagner, Stephen Westfall and Nola Zirin.

Additionally, Olson and Commito’s own work will be displayed concurrently as part of the Downtown Gallery’s Abstract Painting in Northeast Ohio, which runs through Nov. 16.

About the Curators

Gianna Commito (associate professor, painting) has taught at Kent State since 2005. After receiving both her M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, she was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell and The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. She served as a visiting assistant professor at the New York State College of Art and Design at Alfred University, and was an artist in residence at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. Commito has had recent exhibitions at MoCA, Cleveland, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in North Carolina, Geoffrey Young Gallery in Massachusetts, and the Drawing Center, and Taxter and Spengemann gallery, both in New York.

Ohio-based Scott Olson has had solo exhibitions at Taxter and Spengemann, New York, and Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles. Olson has been included in group exhibitions and performances at Misako + Rosen, Tokyo; Galleria Massimo de Carlo, Milan; Chelsea Art Museum, New York (curated by Pati Hertling); Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan; Museum fuer angewandte Kunst, Vienna; and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo. He also produced an audio CD, Liam Gillick Meets Scott Olson in Japan on the Whatness label in 2002.

For more information, visit or call the School of Art Gallery at 330-672-1379.

POSTED: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 10:03am
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