Toward the Open Lattice: Ibram Lassaw within Abstract Expressionist Sculpture, 1945-1953
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This thesis focuses on Ibram Lassaw's open-lattice works by first discussing works from 1945 to 1950 to outline the conceptual and formal themes that contributed to the later style. The open-lattice form presents a complicated interplay between geometric and biomorphic forms, heaviness and lightness, tangibility and remoteness, and openness--which creates a partial boundary whereby the viewer is able to visually penetrate the form, while still being removed bodily. This thesis attempts to root Lassaw's open-lattice works and his metallic accretion process within the Abstract Expressionism movement by comparing the similar bodily experience of viewing Lassaw's works to those of Jackson Pollock's, for example, with a focused attention on material characteristics. This embodied approach offers a new and highly-appropriate language by which to discuss Lassaw's textural open-lattice works. A video of Lassaw's sculpting process is included with this thesis as a supplemental file.