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BIALA: VISION AND MEMORY
September 12, 2013 – October 27, 2013
Thursday September 12, 2013
The painter known as Biala (1903 – 2000) pursued a career that spanned more than seven decades and gained critical recognition in New York and Paris. In both cities, she formed lasting friendships with legendary figures of modernist art and literature. She witnessed the eclipse of Paris as the international center of modernism, the rise of Abstract Expressionism, and the dizzying succession of movements that radically transformed the very concept of art in the last decades of the 20th century. Through it all, she continued to paint exquisitely-crafted canvases in a personal style that, even now, resists classification.
Recent exhibitions at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery (2006-2010) have generated renewed critical interest in Biala’s achievements, prompting some writers to link her with the resurgence of “painterly representation”. Beyond increasing public awareness of her intimate and lyrical canvases and fascinating life, a long-overdue survey of her career could provide further insights into the social hierarchy confronting women in the 40s and 50s as well as the challenges faced by painters whose adherence to figuration marginalized them from the critically-sanctioned mainstream of Abstract Expressionism.
Organized by the Godwin-Ternbach Museum of Queens College, Biala: Vision and Memory (September 12 – October 27, 2013) is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s long career. In addition to paintings, collages, gouaches and drawings from public and private collections as well as the Estate, it will display books by Ford Madox Ford for which Biala provided illustrations and children’s books she wrote which her husband, the painter Daniel Brustlein, illustrated. Numerous photographs will offer glimpses of her early life and her artistic and social circles in New York and Paris from the 40s through the 90s. It also will feature a lively 1995 filmed interview of the artist by Judith Wechsler. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated 48-page catalogue with an essay by its guest curator Diane Kelder, Professor Emerita of Art History at the Graduate Center CUNY. Professor Kelder is the author of books on French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the American modernist painter Stuart Davis.
Public programs will include:
Lecture series including talks by Diane Kelder, exhibition curator; Amy Winter, GTM Director. Dates to be determined.
Mon.–Thurs. 11 am to 7 pm, Sat. 11 am to 5 pm
Please note that the museum, located in Klapper Hall, Room 405, is not open on holidays and when the college is closed. Admission is free. For directions to Queens College, please visit: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/welcome/directions/Pages/default.aspx
Please call the museum for updated programs and schedules or re-visit this website www.qc.cuny.edu/godwin_ternbach for further information.
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