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Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

© The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
American, 1925 - 1996
Acrylic on canvas

81 3/16 x 61 3/16 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided by the
Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund

Arts of North America

This painting by Joseph Glasco demonstrates his skill with the vocabulary of post-World War II art, from the vigorous brushwork of the Abstract Expressionists to the push-pull color dynamics of Hans Hofmann.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Glasco studied art in Texas, California, England, and Mexico before arriving in New York City during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. Although he continued to exhibit regularly in New York, he moved away in the mid-1950s, settling in Galveston in 1972 to pursue his own brand of painting: a synthesis of European and American forms of abstraction and Surrealism.

Created just a year before his death, this painting glows with a confident balance of complexity and resolution. The underlying grid structure that unites the composition is vividly animated by the gestural strokes that are laid down as middle and foregrounds; floating red rectangles further anchor the visual play across the surface. Filled with assurance and gusto, the work presents a brilliant palette animated by a syncopated compositional structure: it is the work of an artist at the peak of his career.