Friday, June 15, 2018

Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950

Philadelphia Museum of Art

On view through September 3, 2018

It was so nice to go to an exhibition in the middle of its run and not the last hours, and it was so nice that it was the fabulous Modern Times show in Philadelphia curated by Jessica Todd Smith.
George Biddle, Whoopee at Sloppy Jo's, 1933
This is a huge area for one exhibition ranging from the Ashcan School, the earliest days of Modernism, the Jazz Age, the urban scene of the New Deal era, right up to the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism. Drawn from the Museum’s collection and promised gifts, the show features Philadelphia’s role in the art of this period and benefits from the many women and African-American artists included, with both well known and totally new (to me at least) pieces: paintings, drawings, lots of wonderful prints that add enormously to the show, photographs, furniture, and costumes.

Ben Shahn, Nearly Everyone Reads the Bulletin, 1946

The exhibition is organized thematically. In ‘Modern Life’ there were beach scenes and actual 1920s bathing suits, George Biddle’s Whoopee at Sloppy Jo’s, from 1933 – the year Prohibition ended, and Ben Shahn’s Nearly Everyone Reads the Bulletin, 1946. (The Bulletin was a Philadelphia newspaper but the composition is based on a scene Shahn photographed in NY’s Washington Square Park.) The wonderful pair, Arthur B. Davies’ Daphnes of the Ravine, 1922, and Max Weber’s Group of Figures, 1911, left, as well as Marguerite Zorach’s Girl and Cat, 1919, were in ‘The Animated Figure’ section.

Arthur B. Davies, Daphnes of the Ravine, 1922, and Max Weber, Group of Figures, 1911.
Links to gallery pages for Thomas, Hart Benton, George Biddle, Arthur B. Davies, Ben Shahn, Max Weber, and Marguerite Zorach.

#Philadelphiamuseumofart #Moderntimes #Jazzage #prohibition #newdeal #Thomashartbenton #GeorgeBiddle #ArthurBDavies #BenShahn #MaxWeber #MargueriteZorach

Philadelphiamuseumofart, Moderntimes, Jazzage, prohibition, newdeal, Thomashartbenton, GeorgeBiddle, ArthurBDavies BenShahn, MaxWeber, MargueriteZorach

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


This collection is inspired by the recent exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Ten Americans: After Paul Klee. In particular work by William Baziotes figured prominently and was the starting point for our own list: Klee, Baziotes, Howard Daum, Dorothy Dehner, Peter Grippe, Stanley William Hayter, Fannie Hillsmith, Hugh Mesibov, Anne Ryan, and Mark Tobey.

Peter Grippe, The City, 13th Street, Nabisco Crackers(NYC), 1943

The Phillips show explored key aspects of Klee’s oeuvre that drew American artists working in abstraction: interest in the art of indigenous cultures, the power of symbolic language, and the tapping into the unconscious.

An exhibition of Klee's work at the Museum of Modern Art in 1930 assured that his work was known to the American audience.

Work by Baziotes was also shown in a similar context in From Motherwell to Hofmann: The Samuel Kootz Gallery, 1945-1966, at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, NY.

This is the link to the site:

PhillipsCollection, PaulKlee, Klee, Baziotes, Daum, Dehner, Grippe, Hayter, Hillsmith, Mesibov, AnneRyan, MarkTobey, SamuelKootz

#PhillipsCollection #PaulKlee #Klee #Baziotes #Daum #Dehner #Grippe #Hayter #Hillsmith #Mesibov #AnneRyan  #MarkTobey #SamuelKootz

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Report from St. Louis

This weekend we are at the University of Missouri at the 12th Annual St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair. It runs through Sunday, May 6, and is presented by the St. Louis Mercantile Library. 

Susan Teller Gallery's Booth at St. Louis Fair

There are also fabulous exhibitions at the Library including the extensive Headlines of History show that traces the history of the printed news in Missouri as well as featuring headlines that reflect historic events of the last two centuries including the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 

Geese guarding the Print Fair Sign
Yet another exhibition is the Celebration of the Gutenberg Acquisition. The Library recently acquired two leaves for the Gutenberg Bible and with loans from other libraries and museums in St. Louis mounted an exhibition reflecting the impact of this publication on the world at large.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Virginia Bill, Seals in Central Park (NYC), about 1940

We’re back from San Antonio and now set up at ART ON PAPER -- the show runs though Sunday. It’s at Pier 36 at 299 South Street and the site and the building are terrific.

We are featuring:

• Atelier 17: Drawings and intaglios by Stanley William Hayter, as well as those of colleagues, Howard Daum, Sue Fuller, Fannie Hillsmith, Franz Kline, and Peter Grippe.

• American Surrealism: Unique works on paper by William Baziotes and Hugh Mesibov.

• Collection Highlights: Extremely scarce woodcuts by Virginia Bill (white-line), Anne Ryan (black-line) and Ansei Uchima, a collection of drawings by Peter Grippe, and drypoints by Peggy Bacon.

 #Artonpaper #pier36 #collectprints #IFPDA #Mesibov #Baziotes #Atelier17 #Surrealism #PeggyBacon #AnseiUchima #PeterGrippe #FranzKline #SWHayter

Friday, March 2, 2018


Hugh Mesibov, Aspen Series #3, 1951, watercolor

We're nearly set up for the McNay Art Museum Fair. The reception is this evening and the fair is on tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday.

We are featuring:
• American Surrealism: Prints and drawings by William Baziotes and Hugh Mesibov (with extremely rare material recently released by the Mesibov Estate).

• Works by African-Americans Emma Amos, Curlee Raven Holton, Lawrence A. Jones, and William E. Smith.

• Collection Highlights: Extremely scarce white-line woodcuts by Virginia Bill, a collection of drawings and intaglios by Peter Grippe, a World War II drawing by Edward Laning of Joe Jones, just returned from the Joe Jones traveling exhibition in Missouri, engravings by
Sue Fuller, and drypoints by Peggy Bacon.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

GWYNETH LEECH: Construction Series

GWYNETH LEECH: Construction Series
On View February 15 through March 31,2018, at the Kaufman Arcade, 139 West 35th Street/132 West 36th Street, NYC.

This exhibition is presented by the Garment District Alliance.

When a new building began to obliterate her studio’s light and north view Gwyneth Leech began an entirely new project: The Construction Series. First she drew and painted views of that building, begun in 2015. I was there one day when the construction crew and artist waved to one another.

As it neared completion and more work was done inside, out of sight, Leech turned her attention to the near-by Hudson Yards, one of this country’s biggest construction projects. In particular she was intrigued by The Shed, a moveable performance site that tucks into a mixed residential and commercial building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and built by Sciame LLC, by The Vessel (an apparently wasp nest-inspired folly/park that brings Indian Step Wells to mind) designed by Thomas Heatherwick (sections were crafted in Italy), and by the scale and relationship of the buildings. The construction of another skyscraper on Ninth Avenue, One Manhattan West, utilizing the relatively new and still rarely used concrete core method of construction, also captured her interest as did two other midtown projects: 53 West 53rd Street near the Museum of Modern Art, and One Vanderbilt, an office building on 42nd Street adjacent to Grand Central.

Gwyneth Leech and Matin Hekmat, with Leech's painting, One Vanderbilt, Winter Afternoon, 2018

One of the visitors to the exhibition was Matin Hekmat, the Structural Project Manager for One Vanderbilt, for Tishman Construction. He toured the show with Leech and others who hung on his every word. Mr. Hekmat noted her amazing attention to detail (including the colorful and self-lifting cranes), and ability to keeping the picture fresh and even. One Vanderbilt is replacing five other buildings and is owned by SL Green, NYC’s largest commercial landlord.

Too bad that I missed an earlier visitor whose Instagram name is girl_on_steel. She was on the One Vanderbilt site as an iron worker.

The exhibition space at the Kaufman Arcade, 139 West 35th Street/132 West 36th Street, NYC, (a lobby pass-through beloved of New Yorkers looking for a shortcut, especially in cold and rainy weather) is open from 6AM to 9 PM on weekdays and 8AM to 6 PM on weekends. Also a major NYC landlord, the Kaufman Organization dates the 1910s when Samuel Kaufman needed space for his garment manufacturing business. Today Steve Kaufman is on the board of the Garment District Alliance.

Link to Leech page:

#GwynethLeech #KaufmanArcade #Kaufmanorganization #GarmentDistrictAlliance #GarmentDistrict #OneVanderbilt #HudsonYards #TheShed #Vessel #MatinHekmat #hekmat #Tishman #ironworker #53West53rd #Heatherwick #Tishman #SLGreen #DillerScofidioRenfro #DillerScofidio+Renfro #Sciame #SteveKaufman

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

ANSEI UCHIMA at the Zimmerli Art Museum

Zimmerli Art Museum trip follow-up.
There were so many great shows at the Zimmerli when I visited that it was hard to get to them all, but Rutgers & Japan, A Historic Friendship was a wonderful surprise, especially because ANSEI UCHIMA (1921-2000) was among the featured printmakers. This is great timing because we have recently acquired several new subjects from the Estate of the Artist, and many are now up on the Gallery site.

This is a link to the artist’s page on our site:

Ansei Uchima, Water Mirror B, woodcut

Ansei Uchima, Window Nuance, 1978, woodcut

AnseiUchima, Uchima, Rutgers&japan, japanesewoodcuts, woodcut