Janet Sobel (May 31, 1893 – 1968)
1945, Enamel on canvas, 114 x 75.9 cm, MoMA
Ukrainian-American Abstract Expressionist
Using the enamel paint and glass pipettes of her husband’s métier, she began to drip color onto the surfaces of her works in allover patterns. Pollock had yet to incorporate such techniques into his paintings. When he saw Sobel doing it, he understood what he had been missing. Two years later, Pollock created his first 'All-Over' drip paintings.
Sobel was grouped as inferior due to her status as a housewife, while other painters could've been dismissed as being mentally inferior in some way. Clement Greenberg, an art authority in Sobel's time, wrote on avant-garde painting and positioned "Sobel as a forerunner of Abstract Impressionism", but he made sure to emphasize Sobel's work as inferior to Pollocks by reducing it as "'primitive'" and that of a "'housewife'". Sobel’s impressive rise to prominence was followed by an equally swift disappearance from view in 1946, when moving to New Jersey distanced her from the rapidly changing New York art world and she developed an allergy to oil paint.19:00 - 20:00