OLD LYME, CT.-
From Februrary 13 through April 18, 2010 the Florence Griswold Museum
in Old Lyme, Connecticut presents Sewell Sillman: Pushing Limits, a groundbreaking exhibition of twentieth-century artist Sewell Sillman (1924-1992). In the late 1940s Sillman became a protégé of the Bauhaus Master Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, a hotbed of avant-garde activity in America. Sillman absorbed Albers approach to color, design, drawing and education over the decades of their work together, bringing Albers lessons to bear on his own art and teaching. The exhibition features Sillmans graceful abstract drawings and watercolors alongside the powerful color studies created in collaboration with Albers.
As one-half of the art publishing team of Ives-Sillman, Sillman exercised his meticulous attention to technique in creating screen prints for many of the leading artists of his era. Portfolios he created for Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella, Jacob Lawrence, and Piet Mondrian, attest to his technical mastery of color and screenprinting. Working proofs and documentary photographs, particularly those related to numerous editions created for Albers, emphasize the trust fellow artists placed in him.
An instructor for over 40 years at institutions such as Yale University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA, Sillman passed along on the lessons of Bauhaus drawing, design, and color to a younger generation of artists.
Known in the art world predominantly for his printmaking and color block paintings, Sillman kept a large body of work private for much of his career. This exhibition introduces his rarely seen early and late works, tracing his long term investigations devoted to exploring materials, expanding techniques, and developing a his personal formal vocabulary.