A trailblazing artist, Dusti Bongé (1903-1993) developed a distinctive style that embraced the visual vocabularies of Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism. Based in Biloxi, Mississippi—and recognized as one of the south’s first modernist artists—Bongé also developed strong ties to New York’s inner art circles and had a long association with iconic gallerist Betty Parsons, with whom she showed for nearly three decades. Despite Bongé’s many artistic innovations, she has been conspicuously absent from the mainstream art discourse, within the narratives of art history, and contemporary understanding of the artists that shaped modernist art movements.
With its representation of the Bongé estate, Hollis Taggart is committed to furthering scholarship of the artist’s work and bringing well deserved attention to the artist by illuminating the significance of her artistic contributions. This builds on the gallery’s prior successes in deepening scholarship on and expanding visibility for female artists such as Audrey Flack, Grace Hartigan, Kay Sage, Marjorie Strider, Idelle Weber, and Michael (Corinne) West. To launch its new collaboration with Bongé’s estate, Hollis Taggart will present a selection of works by the artist as part of its exhibition of Abstract Expressionist painters at the upcoming edition of The Armory Show, opening in September 2021. The presentation at the fair will mark the first time that Bongé’s works will be on view in New York in approximately 50 years, offering an important opportunity for collectors, scholars, and the public to re-engage with Bongé’s vision and work.
The presentation at the Armory Show will then be followed, in fall 2022, with an exhibition at Hollis Taggart’s flagship location in Chelsea. That exhibition will explore Bongé’s close association with Betty Parsons, illuminating for the first time their long-standing friendship and professional collaborations.