Recognized as one of the youngest artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement to achieve major exhibition status, Walter Plate’s ascent in the early post-war movement was remarkable. By the mid-1950s Plate’s work was being eagerly purchased by the Whitney, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the National Gallery of Art. In addition, his solo exhibitions and impressive reviews gained him respect amongst his contemporaries. His impressive exhibition history, which spanned several continents, attests to his unique and powerful voice.
In each work, Plate’s flat planes and gestural brushstrokes compete with one another creating various chaotic energies within a thoughtful, functional order. The opaque and lucid quality of his surface and palette, somewhat reminiscent of stained glass windows, highlight his superiority as a master colorist. In Plate’s early 1960s compositions, he transitions from a linear to more concentrated and complex composition, perhaps a testament to his influential friendship with Philip Guston.
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