NEW YORK.-Seventeen New York art galleries will honor the Art Students League of New York by mounting exhibitions celebrating its 130th anniversary. The shows will run for varying periods during September, October and November, presenting work by artists who taught or studied at “the League.”
Both instructors and alumni of the League were among the luminaries of 20th-century American art. A young Georgia O’Keeffe studied painting there with William Merritt Chase. Jackson Pollock and Fairfield Porter worked with Thomas Hart Benton, and David Smith and Burgoyne Diller enrolled in a class taught by modernist Jan Matulka.
Ira Goldberg, the League’s Executive Director, was moved by the positive response the League received from the community of New York art galleries. He remarked that, “Throughout its history, the League has been associated with some of the greatest names in American art, many of whom have been represented by the finest galleries in the City. We are proud to have a good number of those galleries sharing in the celebration of the League’s 130th anniversary, with wonderful exhibitions that focus on the League artists they represent, including current and former instructors as well as our famous alumni. We appreciate their support as we continue to educate artists whose work they will likely display and sell in the future.”
Zabriskie Gallery owner Virginia Zabriskie conceived the “gallery salute,” and her gallery will present works by former League instructors Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and William Zorach, as well as Katherine Schmidt, who studied there. The Joan T. Washburn Gallery plans to mount early works by Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and David Smith. Knoedler & Company will show a selection of Lee Bontecou’s work, while the Babcock Galleries’ exhibit will feature paintings by Will Barnet and his contemporaries.
Kraushaar Galleries will bring together paintings by Gifford Beal, who studied at the League and then served as its president for many years. Red Grooms is the subject of the Marlborough Gallery exhibit, while the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery will focus on Burgoyne Diller. Robert Henri, whose popular lectures at the League were published as The Art Spirit, will be the subject of an exhibit at the Gerald Peters Gallery, and the Alexandre Gallery will survey the early works of sculptor William King.
David Findlay Jr. Fine Art will display paintings by Steve Wheeler along with a few rare works from the estate of Vaclav Vytlacil, and Mary Ryan Gallery will offer a small collection of works by the artist couple May Stevens and Rudolf Baranik who met at the League. Printmakers Martin Lewis, Joseph Pennell, Harry Sternberg and others who powered the League’s graphics classes will be shown at The Old Print Shop and the Susan Teller Gallery.
Contemporary artists who teach at the League will be represented as well. Paintings by Daniel Greene, Burton Silverman and Sharon Sprung are the subject of the Gallery Henoch exhibit, while a selection of Bruce Dorfman’s assemblage paintings will be on view uptown at Kouros Gallery. Watercolors by Frederick Brosen will be presented at Forum Gallery, and paintings by Robert Neffson and Timothy J. Clark will make up the Hammer Galleries show.
For its part, the League will mark the occasion of its 130th year with The League Then and Now, an exhibition of outstanding student work – early and recent – from its permanent collection, complemented by archival photos and ephemera. Georgia O’Keeffe’s still life that earned her a scholarship in the William Merritt Chase class in 1908 will be displayed, as will Norman Rockwell’s charcoal sketch illustrating “The Deserted Village,” done when he was 17. Other artists represented include Eugene Speicher, Jan Matulka, Augustus Vincent Tack and Will Barnet. The League exhibit and the “Gallery Salute” have been generously supported by A.T. Kearney, the global management consulting firm.