Works of the Artists of Coenties Slip

In the 1950s a group of young artists, who had a lot of talent, an abundance of passion but not much money, settled into the old factory buildings in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. The industrial spaces, once used for manufacturing sails, had high ceilings and enormous rooms that were perfect for use as living and studio space. That section of Brooklyn, along the East River, was called Coenties Slip.

Artists on the roof of 3-5 Coenties Slip (left to right: Delphine Seyrig, Duncan Youngerman, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Youngerman, and Agnes Martin), 1958
Photograph by Hans Namuth

Many of the artists of Coenties Slip changed the landscape of American art. They had a profound influence of American culture and on each other. Their works can be found in major museums around the world and are available at Surovek Gallery.

Jasper Johns, 1930 – present

Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns in John’s Coenties Slip studio, ca. 1954.

Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns were among the first artists to settle into Coenties Slip.

Johns repeated use of flags, targets, letters and numbers painted in his thick, lush style, was a critical success and his career took off.

Jasper Johns
Target with Plaster Casts, 1979-1980
Etching and aquatint in colors, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins
29 1/2 x 22 inches
Edition: 59/88
Signed, dated and numbered: Johns ‘80
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Best known for his series of Flag paintings, the first of which is in the permanent collection of MoMA. In 2o1o, one the Flag series was reportedly sold for $110 million.

Jasper Johns, 2014

At age 90, Johns is still working at his home in Sharon, Connecticut and on the island of Saint Martin.

Robert Indiana, 1928-2018

Robert Indiana with a Cat on His Shoulder in His Coenties Slip Studio, 1963.

Robert Indiana, best know for his iconic LOVE sculptures, was influenced by fellow artist, Ellsworth Kelly, who convinced Indiana to give up figurative painting and focus on his hard-edged geometric designs.

Robert Indiana
Picasso, 1974
Oil on canvas
60 x 50 inches
Signed and dated
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Indiana died in 2018. He spent the last part of his life in relative seclusion at his home on the the remote island of Vinalhaven in Maine.

Robert Indiana, left, and his caretaker, Jamie L. Thomas, at Thomas’s home on Vinalhaven, Maine, Christmas 2014

Ellsworth Kelly, 1923-2015

Ellsworth Kelly in his studio, 1956.

Ellsworth Kelly was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His hard-edged designs were, ironically, inspired by birds, plants, Matisse, Picasso and camouflage.

Ellsworth Kelly
Colored Paper Image XVl, 1976
Pressed paper pulp in colors
32.5 x 31 inches
Edition: 23/24
Signed lower right, numbered lower left
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Ellsworth Kelly

James Rosenquist, 1933-2017

James Rosenquist in his studio at 3–5 Coenties Slip, 1963

James Rosenquist worked as a sign painter before focusing on his own work as a fine artist, who used his graphic skills to create pop art that is part of the permanent collections of major museums around the world.

Rosenquist Electrons Dance In Space

James Rosenquist
Electrons Dance in Space, 1988
Oil on canvas
47¾ x 168 in. (121.3 x 426.8 cm.)
Each diptych signed and dated ‘James Rosenquist 1988’ (on the overlap)
For sale at Surovek Gallery

James Rosenquist, 2006

Works of the Artists of Coenties Slip at Surovek Gallery

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Jasper Johns, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, James Rosenquist or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at Surovek Gallery.

References:
Kelly Richman-Abdou. Discover the Eclectic Influences That Shaped Ellsworth Kelly’s Avant-Garde Art. My Modern Met. July 12, 2020.
Retrospective on Artist Jasper Johns. The Garden City News. July 23, 2020.
Christie’s. LOVE story: the many sides of Robert Indiana. February 13, 2020.
Blanton Museum of Art. Kelly & The Coenties Slip. April, 2018.
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Want to learn more about a particular artist or work? Contact us.