Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Report from Miami

It was terrific to be in Miami for the fairs – this past Wednesday through Sunday. The days were in the 70s, sometimes cloudy, with occasional sun showers. Maps showed either twenty-one or twenty-four fairs, more or less even divided between Miami and Miami Beach.  

William Baziotes, Woman with Brush, 1936

We were at INK Miami, at the Suites of Dorchester Hotel on Collins Avenue at 19th Street – essentially the center of the Miami Beach Art Fair World.

The show was well attended, right through the days, and the visitors were knowledgeable. Several high school and college groups came through -- they were always a lot of fun to talk with and to observe.

It was interesting to install. Each suite was a small apartment (most furniture removed) and we did small groupings that seemed to work well: Angelo Pinto, Peggy Bacon & Her Circle, and William Baziotes.

Friday, November 23, 2012


William Baziotes: A Centennial Exhibition, Surrealist Drawings of the 1930s, is on view at the Susan Teller Gallery from November 15 through December 29, 2012. (Closed December 2 - 11 for INK Miami.)

Wiilliam Baziotes, Bull's Head, 1936-39

Born in Pittsburgh, raised in Reading, PA, Baziotes (1912-1963) came to New York City in 1933. He attended the National Academy of Design and graduated in 1936 and then worked on the New Deal Projects. In the late 1930s he met the artists Jimmy Ernst, Gerome Kamrowski, and Matta, with whom he explored Surrealism. In early 1940s he met Jackson Pollock, Andre Masson, and Robert Motherwell, Abstraction Expressionists with an interest in Surrealism as well.  In his work Baziotes bridged these worlds.  His first one-man show was at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery in 1944.  He taught at the Brooklyn Museum the Museum of Modern Art, Hunter College, and New York University.  In the 1965 the Guggenheim Museum held a Memorial Exhibition.

The entire show may be viewed at:


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New York Print Fair

The New York Print Fair is scheduled to open tomorrow, postponed from today. Public hours start Friday at Noon.

Angelo Pinto, Aeroplane, 1930

(As it stands now we have not yet moved into the Armory. The Gallery Building is locked up tight. We have big hopes for tomorrow.)

                                   William Baziotes,  Split Figure, 1936-39

The plan for the Print Fair is a wall of Angelo Pinto wood engravings and etchings, a modernist group with William Baziotes, Dorothy Browdy Kushner, Anne Ryan, and Louis Schanker, and a selection of pieces from our Coal & Steel Collection including Riva Helfond, Out of the Pit, 1935.

Riva Helfond, Out of the Pit, 1935.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The exhibition, Angelo Pinto, A Retrospective, 1928 to 1987: Paintings, Drawings, and The Complete Prints, is at the Susan Teller Gallery, October 6 through November 8, 2012. Concurrently the Gallery is publishing Angelo Pinto: The Complete Prints, with essays by Maria Pinto Carland, Richard J. Wattenmaker, and Susan Teller.

The entire show may be viewed at:

The career of Angelo Pinto (1908-1994) spans more than six decades, from the late 1920s just to the 1990s. A painter, printmaker, draftsman, photographer, teacher, collagist, and stage and costume designer, he was a highly innovative artist who also revived the ancient technique of painting on glass.

Angelo Pinto, The Circus Room (also titled
The Magic Room), 1974
Born in Casal Velino, Italy, Angelo Pinto came to America as an infant and grew up in Philadelphia. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts, Philadelphia), in 1929. In 1928 he began classes at the Barnes Foundation (eventually his four brothers attended as well); it was an association that would last for the rest of his life.

The inventor and philanthropist Dr. Albert C. Barnes (1872-1951), an early collector of Angelo’s work, subsidized his three European trips, 1931, 32, and 33, and he even traveled with Angelo and his brothers Salvatore and Biagio. In France they visited the artist Henri Matisse who suggested they also visit Corsica and Morocco. Angelo taught art at the Barnes Foundation from 1935 until 1992, and was their official photographer until his death in 1994. 

The late 20s and early 30s were intensive years of painting and printmaking. Works from this period reflect Pinto’s traditional art education, his exposure to Modernism, his travels, and his meeting with Matisse. They also reveal his interest in the theatre and the fantasylands of parks, carnivals, and boardwalks -- sometimes bizarre worlds that veer into the surreal.
Angelo Pinto, The Shooting Gallery, 1935

In 1929 Pinto’s Red Water Lily was shown in the 9th International Exhibition of Water Color Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. The first major showing of his work in 1930, with Salvatore, at both the Philadelphia Print Club and the Kleeman-Thorman Galleries, New York City, was dedicated to etchings. There were also joint shows at the Mellon Galleries, Philadelphia, 1932, Bignou Gallery, Paris, 1933, and the Valentine Gallery, NYC, 1937.
                                                                                             Work by Angelo Pinto was shown in the American Block Prints Annuals of the 1930s at the Print Club of Philadelphia, in One Hundred Contemporary American Prints, Weyhe Galleries, 1931, in the Second Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1935, in American Paintings and Sculpture, 47th Annual Exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago, 1936, and at the New York World’s Fair, 1939. 

In the mid-1930s Pinto and his brothers established a commercial photography studio in New York City. They pioneered the field of location color photography and their work was featured in Town & Country, Life, and Look magazines. In 1941 Angelo, newly married to Gertrude Dwyer, made the permanent move to New York City. They had four children, Jody, Maria, Anthony, and Anna.

Pinto’s painting and painting on glass (his revival, in 1942, of an ancient technique), continued into the 1980s. There were one-man shows at the Makler Gallery, Philadelphia, 1960, the Medici II Gallery, Florida, 1970 and 74, and Marion Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, 1983. Most recently paintings by Pinto were featured in PAFA and Dr. Barnes, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2012.

In addition to the nine paintings by Angelo Pinto in the Barnes Foundation, his work is in permanent collections throughout the country including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; Chicago Art Institute; Cleveland Museum; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library, and Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA; Pomona College of Museum of Art, Claremont, CA; Georgetown University Art Collection, National Gallery of Art, and Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Signs & Symbols at the Whitney

Through October 28, 2012, works by WILL BARNET, WILLIAM BAZIOTES, DOROTHY DEHNER, MORRIS GRAVES, and ANNE RYAN, are featured Signs & Symbols, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, NYC.
Anne Ryan, Collage, 1951. Courtesy of the Estate of the Artist.  This piece is larger than the Whitney's but relates in horizontal format.

This show explores the development of American abstraction in the postwar period, from the mid-1940s to the end of the 50s, in paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, and photographs, by more than forty artists.

William Baziotes, (Figure on Green), about 1940. Courtesy of the Estate of the Artist
These works are calligraphic, with traces of the figure; together they form a search for a distinctly American aesthetic.  In the New York Times Ken Johnson wrote that the artists worked in “Archaic myth, oracular symbolism and private language.” He goes on to mention William Baziotes’ “luminous shapes [that] suggest marine life” and Morris Graves’ link to magic realism.  The recent past had rendered realism too banal, but by using symbols artists could still create works to which viewers could relate.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


The exhibition Coal & Steel, Sources & Uses, is on view at the Susan Teller Gallery from July 17 through August 29, 2012. Showing are fifty paintings and works on paper by more than twenty American artists including Will Barnet, James Daugherty, Hugo Gellert, James Penney, Angelo Pinto, and Ben Shahn.

Ben Shahn, Head of Welder
Coal mining and steel production, foundations of American industry, were strong sources of inspiration for artists of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. During The Depression these male-dominated fields were fraught conflicting issues.  Were they dangerous, un-caring institutions that abused workers who were desperate for any employment, or were they sources of a living wage and the dignity of a day’s labor?

A great deal of the material here can be traced back to Harry Sternberg and his class at the Art Students League. Sternberg was awarded Guggenheim Grant study American industry in 1936. His monumental painting, Steel, 1937-38, is in the exhibition. 

Riva Helfond, Panther Creek Valley, 1932

Riva Helfond, whose future husband Bill Barrett, was from Lansford, Pennsylvania, was Sternberg’s conduit to actual mines and mining communities, largely in the north-eastern, anthracite region. Sternberg made regular weekend trips taking members of his class: Blanche, Grambs, Helfond, Axel Horn, and Charles Keller. (Winifred Lubell went once, but there had been an accident a day or so before and so they returned home without doing any art work.) Keller also had connections to mines in North Carolina, Alex Horn to mines in West Virginia.

Michael J. Gallagher, Coal Breaker, about 1940

           Philadelphia's Michael J. Gallagher, himself from a mining family, lead the Work Progress Administration (WPA) Printmaking Shop. Hugh Mesibov was with him there in the later 1930s and in the 1940s Mesibov worked at Cramps Shipyard which was re-opened to make ships for the war effort and at it’s height employed 18,000 laborers.

While coal fed the furnaces of factories and homes, steel was used to build the factories themselves, the infrastructure of railroads, bridges, canals and skyscrapers. As the country entered World War II, steel was used to build the great ships and the machines of war, and then to re-build the American Dream as with Mitchell Siporin’s Railroaders, Lynd Ward’s Pipelines, and Fred Shane’s Clam Shell Dredge.

Hugh Mesibov, Mural Study for Steel

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day Trip, Philadelphia, July 6, 2012

It was 95 degrees in Philadelphia on Friday, but the humidity must have been low. It was a bright, cloud-free day, and perfectly comfortable, even walking the tree-less blocks between the Reading Terminal Market and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Angelo Pinto, Morocco, 1932-37

PAFA and Dr. Barnes was in its last three days at the Academy. According to curator Robert Cozzolino, Barnes first showed works from his European collection there in 1923.  Included in the PAFA’s show were two works by Angelo Pinto, a large version of Amusement Park, 1935, and a related, smaller study. It’s always great to visit that wonderful 1876 building, and, their Isabel Bishop, Young Woman, 1937, was also on view.

Barnes Foundation, July 6, 2012

We made a quick trip to the Philadelphia Museum and managed to see Visions of Arcadia as well as the smaller shows of work by Rockwell Kent and Benton Spruance.  The Arcadia show was a good preview to The Barnes Foundation in its new location on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  The Cezannes, Henri Rousseaus, Matisses, and Picassos, were all fine, but for my taste, the Gauguins stole both shows.

Hugh Mesibov, Girl in Armchair, 1947

Of course, we were anxious to see Hugh Mesibov’s and Angelo Pinto’s works at the Barnes.   They have Mesibov’s, Byzantine Figure, 1945-46, very like our Girl in Armchair, 1947.

Angelo Pinto, Industrial Scene, 1945

Acquiring nine works by Angelo Pinto, Barnes also hired Pinto to teach at the Foundation and also to take on the job of photographing the collection. Our Morocco, 1932-37 comes close to paintings at the Barnes, and our Industrial Scene, about 1945, has some of the sharp detail of the Pinto’s reverse paintings on glass of which the Barnes has several.  It’s startling to come upon them.  The small 7 x 10 format and solid, clear colors, make for arresting images that range from surrealism to picturesque charm. 

The installation is admired for keeping the spirit of the original building and I think it does – quite well.  The mix of periods, mediums, nationalities, and fine and decorative pieces is always a wonder and seems to work better than ever.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fred Becker, The Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse was an artistic idea used by the Surrealists.  Possibly dating to World War I, it took hold in the mid 1920s. Usually more than one person participated.

Participants wrote or drew on a sheet of paper that was folded to conceal the previous contribution and then he or she passed the paper along to the next person. The show at the Museum of Modern Art, on view through July 9, is especially concerned with how the Surrealists used the idea of the Exquisite Corpse to create “fantastic composite figures.”

The American artist, Fred Becker (1913-2004), made a woodcut entitled the Exquisite Corpse in 1960. Entirely his own piece, the image includes “creases” that suggest where a sheet of paper might have been folded.  

The always witty Becker created a giant outlandish creature. There is a proof printed in black and blue ink on brown paper and a final version, shown here,  printed in black, green, and red, on white paper.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Report from Asheville, June, 2012

The Asheville Art Museum specializes in American Art beginning in the 20th century. Their premier Art Fair is June 22 through 24, 2012.  

Peter Grippe, The City, 1943
Nearby, at Black Mountain College, 1933-1957, teachers included, Josef Albers, Peter Grippe, Fannie Hillsmith, and Ben Shahn.
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Appalachian Trail, Asheville is the birthplace of Thomas Wolff, Roberta Flack, Zelda Fitzgerald, James Daugherty, and Elizabeth Blackwell, first recognized woman doctor in the US, and home to the Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino (innovator of the timbrel vaults used so effectively at the Manhattan Municipal Building).

Elizabeth Blackwell monument, Asheville
 The largest city in Western North Carolina, in what was the Cherokee Nation, Asheville is the site of the US National Climatic Data Center – the world’s largest active archive of weather data.

In the twentieth century Asheville endured a series of dramatic financial twists, including claim to the largest per-capita debt owed by any city in the nation at the time of the 1929 crash. Rather than default the city paid the debts off over a fifty-year period resulting in slow economic growth. An unanticipated consequence is an extensive range of Art Deco architecture. And the hot-dog vendors all have a vegetarian option.

S & W Cafeteria Building, Asheville Art Deco

Sunday, June 10, 2012

St. Louis Mercantile Library Fair Review

St. Louis Weekend, May 4, 5, and 6, 2012

As with so many places, Spring came early this year to St. Louis, and there were many wonderful gardens on the way to Mr. Wizard’s.

It was a beautiful weekend on the University of St. Louis campus, with only a few thunder storms. The fair, May 4, 5 and 6, was very well attended – by far the biggest crowd ever.  There was interest in the Fred Shane material as well as that of Peggy Bacon and Anne Ryan.

Fred Shane
Old Man with Yellow Suspenders, 1980
14 x 12inches

And, of course, no visit is complete without a trip to the St. Louis Mercantile Library itself; there was an installation of Worlds’ Fair related material.

Monday, April 16, 2012


On view by appointment or by chance, June 5 through June 20, 2012. 

Theodore Haupt, Market Place, 1950


In addition to Haupt's monumental Market Place, 1950, there are extremely rare works by Lawrence A. Jones, surprising drawings by Peggy Bacon.

Lawrence A. Jones, Market Place, 1973

There are also market views by Charles Keller, Lawrence A. Jones, and Judith Shahn.

Link to site:

568 BROADWAY • NEW ROOM 502  NEW YORK, NY  10012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

National Medal of Honor Day on March 25

On Thursday morning, March 22nd, on our way to the McNay Museum Fair in San Antonio, we fell into the American Airline’s ceremony at LaGuardia honoring veterans in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day.

The procession of Medal of Honor recipients in Terminal  D was led by a military honor guard; both the New York City Police and Fire Departments’ bagpipe bands played, and along the corridor were placards with pictures and biographies. Service men and women saluted, officials stood at attention, and the rest of us clapped as ribbon-wearing veterans, from Korea, Viet Nam, and more recent wars, were honored.

It was a nice -- it combined the official and organized effort of city, military, and commercial, with the impromptu enthusiasm of the hugely diverse world of airport "gates."  We really felt that we were at the right time in the right place.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

McNay Museum Fair This Weekend, March 24 & 25

Franz Kline, Thorpe, 1955
Saturday, March 24, 10 to 5
Sunday, March 25, noon to 5

McNay Museum Art Fair
San Antonio

This is the sixteenth year of the McNay Museum Fair, and it’s our sixteenth year as well. 

McNay’s brochure for the 2012 fair featured a fairly secret booth from last year – well, the Susan Teller Gallery booth (with gallerist Bill Teller). James Daugherty’s drawing for a New Yorker cover, Ice Skater, 1925, is clearly at center.

This year we will be showing intaglios by Peggy Bacon, Will Barnet, Reginald Marsh, and Angelo Pinto, as well as black-line woodcuts by Anne Ryan, Edmond Casarella’s tour-de-force relief print, Rock Ledge, Judith Shahn’s Mexico City Street Scene panorama, and a 1955 drawing by Franz Kline, Thorpe (referring to the Native American Olympian Jim Thorpe). 

Judith Shahn, Mexican Street Scene, 1950