The Dusti Bongé Art Foundation
Welcome to the official website of the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation. This site offers a wide range of information on the art and life of the outstanding Southern Abstract Expressionist artist Dusti Bongé.
We hope you visit often to learn more about Dusti Bongé, whose remarkable oeuvre spanned over 55 years. We invite you to sign our e-mail list and learn about who we are and what we do. Enjoy exploring our website.
Dusti Bongé (1903-1993), neé Eunice Lyle Swetman, was an Abstract Expressionist painter who lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, and worked from the 1930s through the early 1990s. She is considered Mississippi's first Abstract Expressionist painter and its first truly Modernist artist. Bongé had a prolific artistic career, initially working in a modern style influenced by Cubism, which evolved into her experimentations with Surrealism and culminated in her Abstract Expressionist work by the 1950s.
At this point Bongé became active in the post-war art scene which was centered around the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. This was the era of Abstract Expressionism.
Globally, Abstract Expressionism has become widely admired as the most significant art movement in American art history. Started in New York in the 1940s and 1950s by painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, the movement has earned its place in the canons of major worldwide art movements. It was also the art form that Dusti Bongé found to be her best artistic outlet as her work evolved in the 1950s.
As such, she became a major player in this group of prominent artists, exhibiting alongside them and counting many of them as her friends. Indeed, some became her close friends, such as Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos and Betty Parsons herself.
Parsons mounted several solo exhibitions of Bongé’s work, which were critically very well received. However, over the years Dusti Bongé’s work has been insufficiently celebrated for its important contribution to Abstract Expressionism. Thus, compared to some of her world famous AbEx friends and peers, her extensive oeuvre had not received the national recognition it merits. The DBAF’s aim is to rectify this situation and re-introduce the world to this extraordinary abstract painter. Hence our stated mission.
The DBAF believes that Dusti Bongé should be recognized for her exemplary contributions to the most important 20th Century American Art movement and thus that she should be included in the canons of major Abstract Expressionist painters.
We invite you to join the ever-growing group of Dusti Bongé admirers.