Skip to content

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection

St. Louis Art Museum

September 17, 2019 – March 8, 2020

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, installation view, St. Louis Art Museum, MO. Courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, installation view, St. Louis Art Museum, MO. Courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, installation view, St. Louis Art Museum, MO. Courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, installation view, St. Louis Art Museum, MO. Courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, installation view, St. Louis Art Museum, MO. Courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, installation view, St. Louis Art Museum, MO. Courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum.

Press Release

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection
September 17, 2019 – March 8, 2020
Saint Louis Art Museum
Saint Louis, MO

The institution's press release follows: 

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection presents abstract paintings, drawings, and prints by black artists drawn from and celebrating the transformative gift of the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection. Featured in the exhibition are works by multiple generations of artists who innovated abstract art in the 20th and 21st centuries. They include Norman Lewis’s gestural drawings, Sam Gilliam’s radically shaped paintings, James Little’s experiments with color, and Chakaia Booker’s explorations in printmaking, among many others.

St. Louis native Ronald Ollie grew up visiting the Saint Louis Art Museum with his parents, who nurtured his deep appreciation for art. Ollie spent decades collecting, often befriending the artists and forming long, collaborative relationships. In 2017 Ollie and his wife, Monique, gave the Museum 81 works in honor of his parents. The collection adds depth and breadth to the Museum’s holdings of contemporary abstraction.