Sunday, April 14, 2013

Families/Cities SHIFT Now on View

In conjunction with the Ideas City Festival, sponsored by the New Museum.

Angelo Pinto, Hand with 
Skyscraper, (30 Rockefeller 
Center, NYC), 1946
This exhibition concerns nine 
artists from two families, the 
Gallagher-Leeches and the 
Pintos, whose histories converge 
over the decades, from the New 
Deal Era through today. Both 
began in Philadelphia, 
summered in New Jersey, and 
made the transition to New York. Besides the geographical parallels, 
the families support one another in 
the extreme, the artists all work collaboratively, and they teach 
or publish or build.

Michael J. Gallagher, New York  from
Brooklyn Heights, 1932
 Michael J. Gallagher, a contributor to magazines such as The New Yorker, was director of Philadelphia WPA’s Printmaking Workshop. His wife, Katharine McCollum, was the city’s Puppet Master. Their daughter, the painter Louise Leech, was the mother of Kitty, a costume and children’s book designer, and Gwyneth, a painter and video artist. Kitty and Gwyneth, moved to New York, in 1980 and 1999, respectively.

Angelo Pinto was a painter and printmaker.  He taught at the Barnes until 1992. In 1935 he started a photography studio in New York but stayed on at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, as teacher and photographer. His daughters are Jody, an environmental artist, and Anna, a draughtsman and calligrapher. A life-long New Yorker, Jody attended the Pennsylvania Academy where she now teaches. 

Anna Pinto, Beach Glass, 2000
Highlights from the Gallagher-Leeches include extremely rare New Deal-era carborundum prints of industrial subjects by Michael Gallagher and elegantly refined children’s book illustrations by Katharine. The costume sketch below.

Kitty Leech, Three Men, 2008
Three Male Dancers from Imprints on a Landscape, The Mining Project, 2008. In the dance, choreographed by the artist’s aunt, Martha Whitman, the men are the printmakers at her grandfather’s Philadelphia WPA Printmaking Workshop: from left to right, Hugh Mesibov, Gallagher, and Dox Thrash.

Gwyneth Leech, Ecuador/New York

Gwyneth’s installation Ecuador/New York, A Dream of Home, 2010-12, made from 55 used and painted paper coffee cups is shown her. Her painting, Directions of Flow, 2009, based on a flight over the new Jersey Meadowlands, is at the right.

From the Pinto family there are Angelo’s photographs, wood engravings, reverse paintings on glass of Long Beach Island, New Jersey, and a portrait of Jody, as well as an enormous preparatory drawing for Jody’s nine-ton Fingerspan Bridge of 1987 in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, and Anna’s Alphabet, 1994, a tour-de-force of delicacy. 

Jody Pinto, Fingerspan Bridge,1987