Pat Passlof

(1928 – 2011)

Movements associated with
Abstract Expressionism

Discussion
Pat Passlof studied with Willem de Kooning in the late 40s and though associated with a slightly younger generation, she was part of the notorious Cedar Tavern, the Club and the 10th Street Gallery, all of which central gathering and/ or exhibition spaces for NY Abstract Expressionism. However, women were viewed as secondary to the men in this generation of artists, so her work was not given the critical attention of her peers. Her style evolved out of de Kooning and Gorky. Through de Kooning’s studio, she met her future husband, Milton Resnick, another abstract painter. Into the 1960s she developed a style of repeating patterns to create dynamic rhythms that draw upon memory and experience. These works however, are more abstract, occasionally referencing form with ambiguity. The ambiguity is very de Kooning-esque as is her palette. Works from the 1960s also are the closest in resembling her husband’s. Her work finally seems to be getting some of the recognition it deserves.

Bio
and then Black Mountain School for a summer, studied under de Kooning, of who she came back to the city with his encouragement. She worked, took classes from de Kooning and was part of the art scene. She helped renovate the 8th Street loft, which was the first location of the “Club”. Interest in biomorphic forms of Gorky and de Kooning informed by existentialist philosophy of Abstract Expressionism.

Passlof grew up in New York City. She attended Queens College until she saw de Kooning’s first NY exhibition in 1948 at Egan Gallery. She was so inspired that she withdrew from Queens College and enrolled at the legendary Black Mountain College, where de Kooning taught. She was able to take classes from de Kooning, Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, and Merce Cunningham. Fellow classmates included: Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg and Kenneth Snelson. With de Kooning’s encouragement, she moved back to NY to find a studio and take private lessons from him for two years. Her parents insisted she earn a degree, so she enrolled at Cranbrook Academy, where she did earn her BFA in 1951.

Selected public collections
Museum of Modern Art, NY
Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C., Cranbrook Academy Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Milwaukee Museum of Art. Milwaukee, WI

Movements associated with
Abstract Expressionism

Links
https://www.resnickpasslof.org/passlof-biochronology
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/arts/pat-passlof-abstract-expressionist-painter-dies-at-83.html
https://brooklynrail.org/2019/11/artseen/Pat-Passlof-The-Brush-is-the-Finger-of-the-Brain
https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/pat-pasloff-abstract-painting-tenth-street-1950s-1202680415/
https://vasari21.com/pat-passlof/