Hite Art Institute to host exhibition of Abstract Expressionism artist

    'Night Flight' by Sally Hazelet Drummond, 1978

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UofL’s Hite Art Institute will feature the work of Sally Hazelet Drummond, an influential artist in the monumental Abstract Expressionism movement, at Schneider Hall Galleries Nov. 19-Dec. 18.

    Drummond, likely the first female student at the Hite Art Institute, received her master’s degree in painting in 1952 and then joined the epicenter of Abstract Expressionism style in New York City. As a member of the famed Tanager Gallery, one of the leading Tenth Street artists’ co-ops, she worked alongside preeminent artists of the 20th Century, such as Willem De Kooning, Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko.

    While Drummond’s art has been labeled in several genres, her work and the exhibition is rooted in Abstract Expressionism, which is largely considered the first major American contribution to art history. Drummond described the movement as “a kind of iconoclastic fervor,” hence the name of the exhibition: “Iconoclastic Fervor: Sally Hazelet Drummond’s Road to Abstraction.”

    Drummond’s views on spirituality and community influenced her work, and stood in contrast to the machismo and individualistic psychology more typical of other abstract expressionist artists of the time. Over the course of her life, Drummond refined her style into highly-recognizable ¬dotted starburst patterns. For a 2005 exhibition, The New York Times described them as dots radiating from the painting’s center, “where they typically form a luminous, hazy mass, darkening as they reach the perimeters of the canvas.”

    The exhibition is curated by Hillary Sullivan, a master’s candidate in Hite’s critical and curatorial studies program. The 14 works of art, ranging from the 1940s until 2010, will be displayed in Gallery X at the Schneider Hall Galleries, 2300 S. First Street Walk.

    An accompanying catalogue is available for purchase for $24.95 at the gallery or by contacting Sullivan at Hillary.sullivan@aol.com.

    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.