Adolph Gottlieb

Labyrinth No. 2


Not on display

Adolph Gottlieb 1903–1974
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 914 × 1219 mm
frame: 942 × 1247 × 60 mm
Purchased 1980

Display caption

Gottlieb continued to make pictographs until 1953. (See 'The Alchemist', also in this room.) Many of them resembled early forms of communication, for example Egyptian hieroglyphs. One pictograph was titled 'Letter to a Friend'. Gottlieb's later pictographs show the influence of Paul Klee and a move away from an interest in myth. He stated that during the Second World War he 'just dropped the whole idea of classical mythology as subject matter and decided that the proper subject for me was subjective free-association of images and symbols which I couldn't explain.'

Gallery label, October 1994

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Catalogue entry

T03095 Labyrinth No.2 1950

Inscribed ‘ADOLPH GOTTLIEB’ bottom right and ‘ADOLPH GOTTLIEB/1950/36 × 48/“LABYRINTH#2”’ on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 36 × 48 (91.5 × 122)
Purchased from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation through the André Emmerich Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Exh: Adolph Gottlieb: Paintings 1945–1974, André Emmerich Gallery, New York, January–February 1977 (works not listed, colour); Adolph Gottlieb: Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture, Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston, April–May 1978 (no catalogue); Grids: Format and Image in 20th Century Art, Pace Gallery, New York, December 1978–January 1979 (works not numbered, repr.); Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio, March–May 1979 (works not numbered, repr.)
Repr: New York Magazine, 7 February 1977, p.64 in colour

There are three paintings titled ‘Labyrinth’. ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Labyrinth No.2’ date from 1950 and both measure 36 × 48in.; ‘Labyrinth No.3’ dates from 1954 and measures 84 × 192in. The first two paintings are part of the Pictograph group. The other is part of a smaller series which Gottlieb referred to as ‘Labyrinths’, although only this one painting bears that title. (Information from Sanford Hirsch, 8 December 1982).

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984


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