‘A Selection of Early-20th-Century American Figurative Works’
Through June 26
Never underestimate the gems by unsung artists to be found along the less-traveled byways of the New York gallery world. Case in point is a selection of paintings, drawings and prints by American artists at the Kraushaar Galleries, which was founded in 1885 and is still going.
There’s plenty to look at here — paintings by George Luks, William Glackens and John Sloan, and drawings by the sculptors Gaston Lachaise and Dorothy Dehner — but three works are especially rewarding.
Two are canvases from 1938-39 by David Park (1911-60), a painter at least as original as Richard Diebenkorn, whose figurative work Park influenced. Park died young, but not before perfecting a haunting balance of heavy brushwork and a snapshotlike sense of movement, light and human character. The two delightful portraits of Park’s wife, Lydia, in this show indicate his confident study of the latest from Picasso, his paintings of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar at a time when New York artists were gripped by his Cubism.
The other draw is “Bea Ault,” a 1925 portrait by the resourceful Marguerite Zorach (1887-1968), an early adopter of Fauvism who was included in the 1913 Armory Show. The painting is bold in every way: its size, its palette of reds and blues, and especially its sophisticated mix of Cubism and folk art. Pictured in a rocking chair, smoking, its subject stares us down.
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