North Edith Boulevard, between Bermuda and Flower streets
This dingy block in a rundown central neighborhood served as a crucible for Abstract Expressionism, the movement that changed American art in the 1940s and 1950s. The New York painter Adolph Gottlieb lived on this block in a rental house with his wife Esther during the winter of 1937-38. Entranced by the looming views of the Catalinas, and its pointed Finger Rock peak, he painted assorted desert landscapes and still lifes in a style divorced from his previous works. The hard edges and empty spaces of his desert paintings directly led to his later abstractions; his studies of American Indian art at the Arizona State Museum were in the incubator for his later Pictograph series. Curator Joanne Stuhr of the Tucson Museum of Art gets the credit for resurrecting this bit of Tucson art history in a 1999 museum show, Adolph Gottlieb and the West.


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