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Peter Busa (1914 - 1985) was a central figure in the New York School, a truly original thinker, and a pioneer of modern art. Though difficult to categorize, his work was clearly influenced by his close associations with Matta, Pollok, Motherwell, Baziotes, Kamrowski, and Hofmann.


His early work is of two types. The first was based on the automatic technique  of the Surrealists. The paintings of this type rely heavily on poured or dripped paint and date from the mid - forties typically. The second type of painting was more geometric  - often angular - and these paintings were heavily influenced by Native American design motifs. These are commonly referred to as "Indian Spain paintings." Busa`s Indian Space paintings date from the late thirties to the late fifties. After abandoning Indian Space for styles more closely akin to straightforward abstract expressionism and geometric abstraction during the sixties and seventies, Busa returned to an evolved form of Indian Space painting in the eighties.


In his introduction to the catalogue for Peter Busa`s 50 year retrospective exhibition “Life Colors Art,” Robert Metzger summarized Busa`s career by saying : " ... Busa has presented problems historians since his highly original and diverse body of work and his forms defies translation into verbal language for they reveal truths which cannot be expressed in words. [...] despite his successful exhibitions with such leading galleries as Peggy Guggenheim, Carlebach, and Berta Schaefer he [has not yet] made it into the celebrity bandwagon of dealers, ...collectors, and the art press. The personal poetry and awesome range and depth of his body of work remains one of the great undiscovered treasures of Twentieth Century American art..." 


Among others, he exhibited at: 


1946 Peggy Guggenheim

1949-51 Bertha Schaefer Galley, NYC

1959 Chrysler Museum

1962 Ford Foundation




Smithsonian Institute

Guggenheim Museum 

Smith College

Walker AC


Untitled (Indian Space painting)
Untitled (Abstract)
Untitled (Abstract)
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