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Abe Ajay
Mid-Century Modern Art, Design, 1978, White Relief #1078




This sculpture is an intriguing visual expression: an integration of very precise control and the fortuitous power of accidents that arise from cracks, bubbles and surface pits during their creation. The work feels both archaeological and futuristic and is the ultimate expression of Ajay’s aesthetic of perfections. As an artist who challenged the boundaries of mid-century modernism, Abe Ajay employed various tenets of the Hard-Edge, Assemblage, and Ready-made artistic movements, resulting in a precise, clean-cut and intricate art form resembling that of both sculpture and painting. Within his artwork resonates temperaments of vitality, invention, harmony, rhythm and balance. Ajay’s first solo exhibition was held in 1964 at the Rose Fried Gallery, a well-known venue for supporting and introducing modernism into the American art market. It was after this debut that Ajay began seriously seeking an artistic transition which would introduce elements of painting, architecture, and sculpture into his work. Incorporating a variety of found objects into his works, cigar molds, knobs, dowels, geometric blocks, and transparent paper, each combination of these elements served as a continuum of the unexpected and experience of perpetual surprise. Ten other one-man exhibitions followed in Ajay’s career, as well as continuous coverage in art publications including Art in America, Arts Magazine and the New York Times art section. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim, Smithsonian, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Neuberger Museum of Art. His work is also included in the private collections of J.Walter Thompson Company, the U.S. Steel Corporation and Bank of America. Abe Ajay (1919-1998) WHITE RELIEF #1078, 1978 Gypsum, fiberglass and polymer, 16 x 13 ½ x 3 inches Signature and date impressed side right: AJAY 78 Signed on verso: Abe Ajay


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