American Abstract Artists

American Abstract Artists (AAA) is an artist run organization founded in New York City in 1936 to promote abstract art.

Through exhibitions, publications and lectures established itself as a major American Abstract Artists platform for the exchange of ideas and to bring to a wider public abstract art.

The AAA contributed significantly to the development and acceptance of abstract art in the United States. The AAA is one of the few artists' associations, who survived the Great Depression and still exist.


In the 1930s, abstract art in the United States was met with much skepticism and found little support through galleries and museums. The AAA was founded to debate about abstract art and to create opportunities for exhibitions.

The first exhibition was in 1937 in the Squibb Gallery in New York City instead, which was the most extensive and best-attended exhibition American abstract paintings and sculptures outside a museum.

Other exhibitions and publications established the AAA as a major platform for the discussion and presentation of abstract art.

The most influential critic of the time condemned the American abstract art as un-American and European. In the former New York newspapers and art magazines rained down bad reviews. The American abstract art struggling for recognition and AAA fought tirelessly against the hostility and so paved the way for acceptance after the Second World War. The AAA was also a pioneer of abstract expressionism by helping the American abstract art, to find its own identity.

At the beginning of the 1940s, the New York School, and from the mid- 1940s and during the 1950s, abstract expressionism dominated the American avant-garde established. The AAA continued to pursue the abstract art and is still active today. To date, she has organized over 75 exhibitions of its members in the United States. In addition to 12 journals the association has many brochures, books and catalogs published and organized meetings and discussions. The AAA achieved with their publications and international cultural organizations.

Portfolios of AAA is now found in collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery in London and in the Archives of American Art

Among the founders of the artists' association included Josef Albers, Burgoyne Diller, the couple Suzy Frelinghuysen and George LK Morris, Carl Holty, Harry Holtzman, David Smith, were among its members or include Mel Bochner, Louise Bourgeois, Ray Eames, Werner Drewes, Jean Helion, Lee Krasner, Ibram Lassaw, Piet Mondrian, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Ryman and Robert Smithson.