Friday, April 15, 2011

Peggy Bacon: Drawings and Prints, 1915 to 1976, through April 30

               Peggy Bacon, The Pet (Of Course, They All Wanted the Cat), 1919

In one of the earliest works in the show, Votes for Women, 1915, Bacon places her feminist on a platform labeled Babbit’s Lye, standing her on an authentic soapbox.  Women as bathing ”Beauties of Nature,” 1942, morph into Mexican matrons in shawls in the 1976 -- sixty years of applying a sharp eye to her surroundings.

Bacon studied at the New York School of Applied Design for Women in 1913 and at the Art Students League in with George Bellows, John Sloan, and Kenneth Hayes Miller from 1915 to 1920. Although based in New York City she spent extended periods in Woodstock, NY, and Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Over the years her prints and drawings ranged from charming to shrewd to caustic.

In the brochure for the exhibition, Between the Wars, Women Artists of the Whitney Studio Club and Museum, 1997, curator David W. Kiehl wrote “Peggy Bacon… ranks… among the greatest American delineator of human personality of the period.”

Bacon contributed to Vanity Fair, the New Masses, and The New Yorker, and illustrated more than 60 books, many her own and many for children. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts in 1934. Her work is in permanent collections throughout the country.

Additional highlights of the show are the drypoints, Hard of Hearing, 1933, that appeared in the New York Worlds’ Fair, 1939, and an artist’s proof of Aesthetic Pleasure, 1936, with extensive annotations in the artist’s hand.

                                   Peggy Bacon, Hard of Hearing, 1933
The entire show may be viewed under Exhibitions or Current at WWW.SUSANTELLERGALLERY.COM