PHILADELPHIA.- A selection of recently donated twentieth-century prints, drawing and sculptures, recent gifts to the Museum from the collections of Lady Isolde Radzinowicz and William Henrich, are on view from June 9 August 15, 2008 at the La Salle University Art Museum.
Lady Radzinowicz amassed the works on exhibition between 1945 and the 1970s with her first husband, Adolf D. Klarmann, long-time distinguished Head of the German department at the University of Pennsylvania. Each year the couple went to Europe, purchasing artprimarily in Italy, Austria and Germanyfrom young artists whose works they could afford on Professor Klarmanns meager academic salary. Over the years Adolf and Isolde collected a significant and eclectic range of works. The couple cultivated personal friendships with many of the artists, from whom the Klarmanns frequently purchased multiple works and with whom they maintained a warm correspondence.
There are multiple several prints by the Austrian artist Karl Korab, who specialized in small landscapes and still lives, and whose work is influenced by the European art movement Tachism and the Old Masters, as well as by Wolfgang Hutter, who is deeply affected bya founding member of the Austrian school of Fantastic Realists. The Adolf and Isolde Klarmanns couples wide-ranging interests and tastes are reflected in the sculptures they collected, including works by Luigi Gheno (Italian), HaruhikoYasuda (Japanese), and Tihec (Slovenian). Perhaps one of the most striking works in the show is by Spanish artist Francisco Peinado, who lived for a long time in Brazil, and whose work evinces not only the influence of European Modernism and identifiably Andalusian references, but also Afro-Brazillian elements drawn from the formative years the artist spent in Brazil. With the exception, however, of the woodcut by prominent Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka, the artists Lady Radzinowicz and her husband collected, are not well-known in Americathe United States. This rare, personal collection is a wonderful opportunity to see art work not regularly seen outside of Europe .
Also on view are four lithographs that comprise Benton Spruances series Tthe People at Work. Like many American Modern artists of his generation, Spruance aspired to create work that was intrinsically American in response to the dominance of European Modernism. Spruances style evolved throughout his career. In the 1930s, he worked in a then-contemporary Social Realist vein and his series The People Work, shows his clear affinity for the work of Ashcan artist George Bellows, Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton, and the Mexican muralists.
Lady Radzinowicz has a close relationship with La Salle University. She is an old friend of the Museums founder, Br. Daniel Burke, and her husband, Adolf Klarmann received an honorary degree from La Salle in 1969. An alumnus and former Trustee of the University, William Henrichs relationship to La Salle is similarly close. He generously donated Benton Spruances first important lithographic series, The People Work (1937), to the Museum last year.