Chris Miller reviews Her Work at McCormick Gallery, Chicago, featuring paintings by Mary Abbott, Janice Biala, Lynne Drexler, Perle Fine, Gertrude Greene, Charlotte Park, Vivian Springford, Yvonne Thomas, and Michael West.
Miller writes: "With the work of nine painters from the New York School in the 1950s, Chicago dealer Thomas McCormick has collaborated with several out-of-state dealers to pull together the kind of ambitious show more often found in a major museum... What these women have most in common is an emphasis on a tense, defiant gesture of applying pigment—whether by brushing, knifing, flinging or soaking. Restless experimentation was obviously encouraged, and there is appreciable diversity, even among works by the same artist. These paintings are more about dynamic, tumultuous struggle than balanced resolution. They don’t hit you over the head with an authoritative demand for respect, but they do reward attention once you enter them. The facture is rough and tumble, but always attentive to powerful details."
Xico Greenwald blogs about the exhibition Biala: Vision & Memory at Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, on view through October 26, 2013. Biala's work is also on view at Tibor de Nagy Gallery through October 27, 2013.
Greenwald writes: "Neither during her long life nor in the years since her death has Biala’s contribution to art history received the attention it deserves. Museum Director Amy H. Winter says 'the politics of gender and style' and the fact that Biala 'never fully embraced the mythic freedom and daring associated with abstract expressionism' left the painter 'marginalized.' Making 'intimate' artworks while living in Paris 'rendered her ‘other.’' For Ms. Winter this overdue exhibition 'serves as a tribute to artists who, like Biala, persist in remaining faithful to their personal vision.'"
Schor writes: "I figure that since the show is divided into two parts, installed along two separate sections of the space, with one side featuring the works of women artists who are deceased, and the other side featuring those of us still among the living, I feel that I can safely recommend the dead without incurring controversy among the other living artists in the show or referring to my own work in it or the ramifications of the word 'lady, ' which I know has stirred some controversy. Curator Jason Andrew of Norte Maar has assembled some terrific work in this show, a diverse group of works by notable artists and artists that some may be less familiar with, and in each case has included a very good example of the artist’s work, and in some cases quite a surprising one. Again, I am just talking about the dead. The works are grouped in open bays or booths, creating in effect small mini-exhibitions with some interesting synergies."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.