Andre Emmerich: A Documentary Portrait

For almost 50 years, the André Emmerich Gallery was one of New York's most influential contemporary galleries. It was the focal point for Color-Field painting and a leading venue for color abstraction and monumental sculpture.

Born in Germany in 1924 and raised in Holland, André Emmerich emigrated to the United States in 1940. After graduating from Oberlin College and working as a writer, he opened his gallery in 1954.

During its early years, the firm specialized in classical antiquities and Pre-Columbian art, but by the 1960s Emmerich began concentrating on the artists who defined Color-Field painting: Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski. To this roster he added such artists as Pierre Alechinsky, William Bailey, Piero Dorazio, Sam Francis, Al Held, David Hockney, Dorothea Rockburne, Anne Truitt, and Esteban Vicente. A strong advocate of abstract sculpture, Emmerich featured it in his gallery and at Top Gallant Farm, his 140-acre estate in upstate New York where he installed monumentally scaled works by Anthony Caro, Alexander Liberman, Beverly Pepper, Michael Steiner, and Bernar Venet.

The gallery closed in 1998, and André Emmerich subsequently donated his personal and professional records to the Archives of American Art. His generous gift, the largest collection of papers ever received by the organization, was the catalyst for this exhibition.

To learn more, see the collection description: Andre Emmerich Gallery records and Andre Emmerich papers, 1930-2008