ART TALK “Janet Sobel: All-Over” at The Menil Collection

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ART TALK “Janet Sobel: All-Over” at The Menil Collection

April 24 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2024 at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM: “Connecting Lines: Janet Sobel and Abstract Expressionism” features art historians Susan Davidson and Sandra Zalman, and Natalie Dupêcher, Associate Curator of Modern Art, The Menil Collection, in conversation about Abstract Expressionism and Janet Sobel, a painter who pioneered what became known as “all-over”abstraction in the mid-1940’s.

EXHIBIT ON VIEW FEBRUARY 23 – AUGUST 11, 2024: Abstract paintings by Ukraine-born Janet Sobel (1893–1968) in this small show were created during the artist’s short-lived but meteoric career. Starting in 1943, leading New York dealers, collectors, and other artists began collecting her work, culminating in a solo show at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery in 1946.

Sobel is the pioneer of a style known as “all-over” painting in which drips are flung around a composition, preceding Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock’s better-known use of this technique, which challenges existing narratives around mid-century modernism. Her embrace of unusual materials like enamel and sand have proven influential, especially among feminist scholars, who view her as a woman ahead of the men in her circle.

Sobel is acclaimed for her skillful use of color and densely layered compositions that spilled to the edges of the support. A selection of works on paper further expands the exhibition by demonstrating her approach to drawing, with a series of parallel linear strokes that knit foreground and background together into dense, interlocking patterns.

OPEN free of charge Wednesday–Sunday @ 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

MEMBERS PREVIEW: Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM – Exclusive for members, celebrate an evening full of festive cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music. To RSVP, please email by February 15, 2024. If you are not currently a member, you can join at


The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006 United States
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(713) 525-9400
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