Mary Abbott

1921 - 2019

Mary Abbot was born in New York City, and her lineage traces back to John Adams, the second president of the United States, who was a great, great.... great grandfather. While Mary's childhood was one of privilege, her family was not all politics. Her mother Elizabeth Grinnell was a poet and syndicated columnist with Hearst. In New York in the early 1940s Mary's interest in art led her to courses at the Art Students League where she worked with painters such as George Grosz. She lived mainly in New York but spent time in Southampton and in Washington where she studied with Eugene Weiss from the Corcoran Museum School. In 1941 Mary, who was a stunning woman, came out as a debutante at the Colony Club and became the belle of Manhattan. As a working model she appeared on the covers of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, among others. She married and continued painting and studying throughout the War years. In 1946 she separated from her husband and moved downtown into a coldwater flat at 88 Tenth Street. In 1948, she met the sculptor David Hare, who introduced her to Willem de Kooning whose studio was nearby. Abbott eventually became romantically involved with de Kooning and remained close until his death. She also enrolled in an experimental school called The Subject of the Artist. Not a school in the proper sense, students worked with founding artists Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, William Baziotes and David Hare. Abbott felt she learned the most from Rothko and Newman. Through these associations Abbott moved into the heart of the New York avant-garde, becoming a member of the Artist's Club, where she was one of only a few female members along with Perle Fine and Elaine de Kooning. Also in the early 1950's Mary began to exhibit extensively with shows at the Stable Gallery, Kootz, Tibor de Nagy and Tanager. She was also in three of the famous Stable Gallery Annuals. In 1950 Mary was divorced from her first husband and married Tom Clyde, a businessman who preferred wintering in Haiti and the U.S. Virgin Islands where Mary produced many beautiful and inventive abstractions. That marriage ended in 1966. In about 1970 Abbott accepted a visiting professorship at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and ended up staying for nearly a decade. Eventually she returned to New York where she purchased a loft on West Broadway and a small home in Southampton. With her death in August of 2019 at the age of 98 she was one of the last survivors of the original AbEx generation. In 2016 Mary was included in the game-changing exhibition, "WOMEN OF ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM" organized by the DENVER ART MUSEUM.

Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Mary Abbott in her studio, c.1950
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches
#11477
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Mary Abbott in her studio, c.1950
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches
#11477
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Ginger
oil on canvas
76 x 62 inches
#8645
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Blue Tunnel, 1970s
oil on canvas
49 x 82 inches
#11447
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
oil on linen canvas
24 x 18 inches
#11471
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Hills and Trees, 1955
oil on canvas
19 5/8 x 50 inches
#11404
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
oil on linen canvas
60 1/4 x 40 1/8 inches
#11457
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Yellow I
oil on canvas
69 x 49 inches
#11412
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Wheel of Fortune III, c. 1960
oil on canvas
40 x 55 inches
#11440
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
pencil, crayon and oil on linen canvas
40 1/8 x 30 1/8 inches
#11484
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled
oil on canvas
48 x 36 inches
#11461
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Presence
oil on canvas
60 x 40 inches
#11463
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Jungle, c.1955
oil and collage on canvas
60 x 83 inches
#8680
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Little Rock
70
44 inches
#11464
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
untitled
oil on canvas
79 x 46 inches
#11465
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled
oil and pastel on canvas
30 x 40 inches
#11480
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled (Portrait of My Father)
pastel, oil and pencil on canvas
66 x 36 inches
#11442
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled
oil on canvas
48 x 36 inches
#11451
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Cedo, n.d.
watercolor on paper
9 x 12 1/4 inches
#11536
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled #2 (Haiti), c.1950
pastel, charcoal and graphite on paper
17 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches
#7099
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Hurricane, c.1957
mixed media collage on paper
18 x 24 inches
#7096
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled (Haiti), 1950
watercolor and gouache on paper
24 x 18 inches
#7094
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, 1951
oil and charcoal on paper
22 x 30 inches
#4818
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled (Dancer), 1953
mixed media on paper
22 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches
#4810
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Cathedral I, n.d.
acrylic on linen canvas
48 x 36 inches
#11450
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, c.1950
gouache on paper
24 x 36 inches
#8840
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
oil on canvas
49 x 43 inches
#11628
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled (Self Portrait), n.d.
oil on canvas
67 1/4 x 49 1/2 inches
#7599
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled - Haiti, c.1952
pastel and charcoal on paper
25 x 19 inches
#8885
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, n.d.
oil on canvas
28 x 23 1/4 inches
#11476
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled, c.1953
charcoal and white chalk on paper
20 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches
#8886
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Inlet (Watermill), c.1950
watercolor on board
15 x 20 inches
#7081
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
St. Croix VI, c.1950
watercolor on board
15 x 20 inches
#7074
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
Untitled , 1950s
mixed media on paper
24 x 18 inches
#10532
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
The Hill (Tangle of Hill), 1954
oil on canvas
40 x 50 1/4 inches
#8674
Mary Abbott (1921 - 2019)
St. Croix Jungle, c.1954
oil on canvas
43 x 59 inches
#8665