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PETER BUSA: INDIAN SPACE & BEYOND

Picture 0775 September – 11 October, 2008

ACME Fine Art’s opening exhibition of the Fall season will feature paintings and works on paper by the noted New York School artist Peter Busa. The exhibition will open to the public on 5 September 2008. A reception celebrating the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery is planned for the evening of Friday, 12 September from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. At a special Gallery Talk on Saturday 13 September 2008, at 1:00 p.m., Christopher Busa –the artist’s son- will present a lecture called The Life, Times, & Artwork of Peter Busa. All events are open to the public at no charge.

Peter Busa (1914-1985) was a central figure in the development of the New York School as it emerged in the early 1940s. During that time Busa -along with Matta, Baziotes, Pollock, and Motherwell- pioneered the development of automatic painting and drawing techniques that became identified with Surrealism initially and Abstract Expressionism later on. It was also during this period that Peter Busa’s work was exhibited regularly at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery in Manhattan, culminating with a solo exhibition there in 1946.

Busa’s early work is of two types. The first employed the automatic techniques that he and his Surrealist compatriots pioneered. Busa’s canvases of this type rely heavily on poured and/or dripped paint and date from the mid-1940’s typically. The second type of painting was commonly more geometric -often angular- and these paintings were heavily influenced by Native American art. It was Busa’s interest in Native American design motifs and the consequent balance of positive and negative aspects of space; however, that led to the development of the style of painting with which Busa’s name is most closely associated today: Indian Space Painting.

In fact, Peter Busa was one of a small group (which included Will Barnet and Steve Wheeler) of twentieth century American, avant-garde artists whose work was most profoundly influenced by Native American art and spirituality. Busa’s Indian Space Paintings bear witness to these influences with an aesthetic balance and primal strength all their own. It is important to note that even early on in his career Busa had an ability to synthesize and marry diverse ideas. This can be seen clearly in his efforts in the 1940s and 1950s to balance the positive and negative space in his automatically conceived paintings and drawings, while at the same time using –even celebrating- the spontaneously expressive event in his geometric paintings. This was in stark contrast to the approach taken by most of the artists working within the Indian Space idiom at that time.

During the 1950s and through the 1960s and 1970s Busa began to explore the expressive limits of abstraction on one front and those of geometric minimalism on the other, often working at the extreme ends of the spectrum, and at other times somewhere in between. By the 1980s Busa had once again begun to synthesize and marry the ideas that he continued to find compelling. His late work does achieve a successfully integrated amalgam of approaches to color, form, and expression in a visually convincing way that is completely original, and unique to Peter Busa.

ACME Fine Art’s second solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Peter Busa will take a retrospective view of the artist’s career. The artwork is drawn from private collections as well as from the estate of the artist, and has been chosen and organized to illustrate the connections between the variety of formal conceits described above. The exhibition will include a select group of Indian Space Paintings, important Abstract Expressionist and Minimalist works, and an excellent selection of paintings that defy such simple categorization. Collectively the artwork dates from between 1945 and 1983.

Peter Busa’s work has been widely exhibited since his inclusion in the New York World’s Fair exhibition in 1939. Since that time his work has also been included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, to name a few. It is also worth noting that canvasses by Busa were included in eight Whitney Museum of American Art Annual Exhibitions between 1946 and 1972. Work by Peter Busa is in the permanent collections of all of the Museums listed above.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of paintings by Peter Busa will open on 5 September and run through 11 October 2008. For further information about this artist or exhibition, or other gallery events please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551, or via e-mail at info@acmefineart.com.

ACME Fine Art and Design is located at 38 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. Summer Hours are 11:00 to 5:00 Tuesday through Saturday, and other times by appointment.

MAURICE FREEDMAN: SELECTED OIL PAINTINGS

5 September – 11 October, 2008

On Friday, 5 September 2008 an exhibition of important oil paintings by the noted twentieth century expressionist painter Maurice Freedman will open at ACME Fine Art, 38 Newbury Street Boston, MA. A reception marking the occasion of the artist’s first solo exhibition at ACME Fine Art will take place on the following Friday, 12 September 2008 between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening.The exhibition will feature a fine selection of works that date from as early as 1946, and will contain a variety of genres including, interiors, landscapes, and figural compositions, all painted in Freedman’s unique and distinctly expressionist manner. These boldly colorful canvases successfully convey –without self-consciousness- the spirit of the time in which they were painted, and they continue to delight the eye and the intellect.

Maurice Freedman’s art education began at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1919. He also attended classes at the Massachusetts College of Art before moving to New York in 1927 to study at the Art Students League. Freedman’s formal education was completed with three years of study in Paris at the Academie L’hote.

Even at an early age Freedman’s richly colorful, wildly expressive canvases, were at once both modern and accessible. Positive critical response to his work came soon after his return to the U.S. In 1934, one of Freedman’s paintings was included in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, and in the same year he signed with Midtown Galleries in Manhattan. Since that time his work has been included in museum exhibitions at the Carnegie Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Americam Academy of Arts & Letters, the Washington University Art Gallery, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Today Maurice Freedman’s work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Carnegie Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of paintings by Maurice Freedman will open on 5 September and run through 11 October 2008. For further information about this artist or exhibition, or other gallery events please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551, or via e-mail at info@acmefineart.com.

SUMMER SALON 2008

27 June – 16 August, 2008

Twentieth century American painting from New England’s summer art colonies will be the focus of ACME Fine Art’s summer-long SUMMER SALON exhibition. The –something for everyone- exhibition will open on Friday 27 June and will remain on view through 16 August 2008.

More than thirty artists and over forty works will be included in the exhibition that will present a stylistic cross section of modern art in America. Coastal New England art colonies such as Monhegan Island and Cranberry Island in Maine, and Westport and Provincetown in Massachusetts are the sources for much of the artwork that will comprise the exhibition, and the New England coastline will be the loosely interpreted theme. Artwork from the early twentieth century will include paintings by, Edwin Dickinson, Blanche Lazzell, Werner Drewes, Ross Moffett, Grace Martin Taylor, Agnes Weinrich, T. Lux Feininger, and Howard Gibbs. Fine examples by mid-century artists such as: Hans Hofmann, Jack Tworkov, George McNeil, Charmion Von Wiegand, Lester Johnson, Myron Stout, Stephen Pace, Maurice Freedman, Karl Knaths, Peter Busa, Herman Maril, Philip Malicoat, Nanno de Groot, Kenneth Stubbs, James Gahagan, Haynes Ownby, Gil Franklin, William Freed, Leo Manso, Lillian Orlowsky, and Michael Loew will all be included.

ACME Fine Art is delighted to announce that the gallery now represents the distinguished artist Robert Kipniss. Several of Mr. Kipniss’s canvasses will hang in the gallery for the first time as a part of the Summer Salon exhibition. The exhibition will also feature a fine selection of paintings by other late twentieth century and contemporary artists such as, George Lloyd, Robert Beauchamp, Dorothy Eisner, Rose Basile, Tony Vevers, and Myrna Harrison.

ACME Fine Art and Design is located at 38 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. Summer Hours are 11:00 to 5:00 Tuesday through Saturday, and other times by appointment.

LEO MANSO: COLLAGES

9 May -21 June 2008

Leo Manso (1914-1993) was one of the most highly regarded artists and teachers of his generation. His work was widely exhibited and collected throughout his distinguished career. Today, his work is in the permanent collections of numerous public and private institutions, including: the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design, among others. As an educator Manso’s credentials are no less distinguished. He served on the faculty of The Cooper Union and the Art Students League, and was co-founder of The Provincetown Workshop School of Art.

During the latter half of his artistic career Manso principally focussed his energies on collage and sculptural assemblages, many of which were based on Italian Renaissance or Eastern themes. His work from this period—especially the mixed media collages—won him considerable recognition. Regarding Manso’s collages, Robert Motherwell said it best: One of collage’s masters during the past decade is Leo Manso, whose impeccable sense of placement and musical silence amidst a noisy world calls up the Quattrocento of Manso’s beloved Italy, if not its grandeur. Manso’s work is small in scale, secular and intimate in its subjects, but no less implacable in its ethical integrity, its aesthetic of formed sensuousness. Seductively beautiful as the work is at first sight, it holds its own like iron, a visual poetry that never compromises, never loses its inner life. (1991)

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of collages by Leo Manso will open with a reception on Friday 9 May from 6 to 8 p.m. in the evening. The exhibition will be on view through 21 June 2008.

ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.

HOWARD GIBBS (1904-1970)

9 May -21 June 2008

Howard Gibbs’ last solo exhibition in Boston was at the Margaret Brown Gallery in 1955. ACME Fine Art is delighted to announce the artist’s return to Boston in a survey exhibition of Gibbs’ oil paintings and works on paper that date from between the early 1920s and the late 1950s. The exhibition will consist of more than one dozen works. It will include Gibbs’ early fauvist inspired landscapes that show the distinct influences of his study in France before the War, as well as a fine selection of his distinctive later canvasses that demonstrate the artist’s ability to fully yield to his powerfully expressive avant-garde instincts.

The Baltimore Museum of Art (1954) and the De Cordova Museum (1956) both honored Gibbs with solo exhibitions during his lifetime. More recently – in the Fall of 2007 – the Cape Cod Museum of Art mounted a retrospective exhibition of the longtime Cape Cod artist’s work. Artwork by Howard Gibbs has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Today his work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the De Cordova Museum, and the Cape Cod Museum of Art.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of the artwork of Howard Gibbs will open with a reception on the evening of Friday, 9 May 2008 from 6 – 8 p.m. The exhibition will be on view through 21 June 2008. Exhibition catalogues are available through the gallery.

ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street, Boston.

The Late Paintings of JACK TWORKOV

28 MARCH – 3 MAY, 2008

ACME Fine Art is delighted to announce the Spring exhibition of important oil paintings by one of New York School’s most distinguished practitioners, Jack Tworkov. The exhibition will feature paintings from the final 15 years of Tworkov’s distinguished career. It will open with a reception from 6 to 8 on the evening of Friday, 28 March, and will be on view through Saturday, 3 May 2008.

Jack Tworkov was born on the cusp of the twentieth century in Biala, Poland, emigrated to the United States in 1913, and went on to become one of America’s most important and influential modern artists. Tworkov is perhaps best known as one of the original New York School painters. His arrival at avant-garde action painting as his means of expression came following a perhaps surprisingly traditional education that included study at the National Academy of Design with Charles Hawthorne, at the Art Students League with Boardman Robinson and Guy Pene du Bois, and in Provincetown Massachusetts with Ross Moffett.

Although he had exhibited with the Societe Anonyme in New York as early as 1929, and was employed in the easel division of the WPA from 1935 to 1941, significant notoriety for Tworkov did not come until the mid-1940s in conjunction with his exploration of abstraction. Following a hiatus from painting from 1941 to 1945 to support the war effort, Tworkov began exhibiting his abstract work at the Egan Gallery in Manhattan in 1945. Now famous as one of the premiere galleries to exhibit the work of abstract expressionist artists, Egan also represented Franz Kline, George McNeil, Willem de Kooning and Giorgio Cavallon during this period. Egan mounted regular solo exhibitions of Tworkov’s work between 1945 and 1954, and it was during this timeframe that Tworkov developed his mature abstract expressionist voice, thereby establishing himself as one of the few true first-generation abstract-expressionists.

Today, Jack Tworkov’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Phillips Collection, to name just a few. The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN have all mounted solo exhibitions of Tworkov’s work. (Jack Tworkov’s complete curriculum vitae is available on the gallery web-site.)

ACME Fine Art’s first solo exhibition of paintings by Jack Tworkov will feature eleven important late canvasses that date from between 1971 and 1981. Tworkov’s work from this period is commonly referred to as geometric or minimal, and it has been often misinterpreted as a repudiation of abstract expressionism; however, while it is true that the artist did believe that the painterly self-expression of the 1950s had become hackneyed, his late paintings were more about the addition of the intellect, vis-à-vis formal structure or planning, than about the elimination of the subconscious impulse. In an interview with Phyllis Tuchman published in Artforum magazine in 1971, Tworkov stated: ”I think that it’s a very important aspect of an artist’s work to learn from the unexpected, to learn from accident. But I believe for myself in a kind of reconciliation between that and thoughtfulness…I think that both are integral processes, that the problem is to keep the painting open to both impulses.” Quotations such as this, selected from reviews, essays, and interviews, all written when the artwork was contemporary, accompany the reproductions in this announcement in an effort to amplify understanding as it relates to the artist’s stated intention to integrate “thoughtfulness” with “Impulse.”

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of artwork by Jack Tworkov will open with a reception from six to eight on the evening of Friday 28 March 2008 and will be on view through 3 May 2008. ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street, Boston.

JAMES GAHAGAN at Mid-Century

15 February – 22 March, 2008

Following military service in World War II and with the help of the G.I. Bill, James Gahagan studied painting at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art in New York. He went on to become the Assistant Director of the School, a position he held between 1952 and 1958. He was also Hans Hofmann’s chief assistant on two important large-scale mural projects at 711 3rd Avenue in New York City during 1956 and 1957. Gahagan exhibited his work at the H.C.E., Tirca Karlis, and Sun Galleries in Provincetown, and at the James Gallery – of which he was a founding member- in New York City. Gahagan was an important member of what has been called the second generation of the New York School, and he counted William Freed, Lillian Orlowsky, Robert de Niro Sr., Sidney Gordin, Myrna Harrison, Myron Stout, Jan Muller, and Joseph Stefanelli among his close friends and colleagues. Gahagan was a dedicated educator throughout his career. In addition to founding an eponymous summer art school on his property in Vermont in 1971, Gahagan held teaching positions at Pratt Institute, Columbia University, Goddard College, Notre Dame University, and the Vermont Studio School. Today his work is in the permanent collections of the Art Museum of the University of California, Berkeley, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and numerous other public and private collections.

James Gahagan’s work from all periods is characterized by a bold and confident use of color, applied to the canvas in a variety of expressionistic means. While Gahagan’s paintings may at times seem to convey a sense of landscape or the heavens, his work is always fully abstract with a tremendous sense of depth and balance. In talking about his own work, Gahagan offered the following in a 1991 interview with Tina Dickey:

Most artists would avoid talking about the particularity of any content in painting. Most of them generalize about aesthetic theory, formal things; what do we mean by composition, balance and tension, and so on? There are times when we avoid what those balances and equilibriums might mean expressively. But, when we do talk to each other, and what we do demand of the work when we look at other people’s work, and what the audience does expect, is that it means something to them in their lives, some experience shared that they can translate, something purely emotional.

I’d gone through passages in my own development where I said ‘The aesthetic content and significance is what [I am] aiming for; that’s enough, in fact, everything else is superfluous.’ And then that changed because I realized for myself –and I’m going to underline it, for myself, because I was trying to broaden my view, not narrow it- I had to find some way in the work to make other comments on my life experience small as they might be, some area, some room in the painting for that.

ACME Fine Art’s 2008 exhibition of paintings by James Gahagan will feature a fine group of fifteen abstract expressionist canvases that date from between the mid-1950s and the mid-1960s. The gallery is delighted to honor the memory of this talented artist with his first solo exhibition in Boston. The exhibition will open with a reception from and will be on view through 22 March 2008. Please contact ACME Fine Art at 617 585 9551 or info@acmefineart.com for further information.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of artwork by William Freed and Lillian Orlowsky will open with a reception from six to eight on the evening of Friday 15 February 2008 and will be on view through 22 March 2008. ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street, Boston.

WILLIAM FREED & LILLIAN ORLOWSKY: Together

11 January – 9 February, 2008

ACME Fine Art’s opening exhibition for 2008 will be a survey of paintings and drawings in a variety of media by two New York School artists who shared more than stylistic affinities. William Freed (1902-1982) and Lillian Orlowsky (1914-2004) led parallel lives as artists. They were husband and wife since 1942. They shared educational experiences at the Educational Alliance Art School, the Art Students League, and most importantly- the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art in New York as well as Provincetown Massachusetts. Both were employed by the Works Project Administration, he in the Education and Mural Divisions, she in the Mural and Easel Divisions. Furthermore, they exhibited their work in many of the same venues. In the late 1930s and early 1940s both participated in group exhibitions at ACA Galleries in Manhattan. In the 1950s they founded along with a small group of friends and colleagues- one of the early artist’s cooperative galleries in New York called the James Gallery. Both exhibited work regularly there during the Fall and Winter months, and at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum between April and October.

Despite the numerous stylistic affinities that can be seen in their work, and the other curatorial links associated with their life-long artistic dialog and relationship, any attempt to exhibit the artwork of Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed side by side prior to this exhibition has been more accidental than intended. This is probably because as the primary promoter of their artistic careers Orlowsky always put Freed first. Interestingly, despite consistent recognition which began with the selection of one of her paintings for inclusion in the 1939 New York World’s Fair exhibition, and continued with her participation in numerous group exhibitions in New York and Cape Cod, Orlowsky’s first solo exhibition did not happen until 1985, the year following Freed’s death. Anyone who knew Lillian knows that she was a confident artist who had high regard for her own work. Her deference to Freed was more likely a product of Orlowsky’s total respect for the artist that was her husband, and her acceptance of what she considered to be her role in the relationship. For whatever reason, the two never shared studios or exhibitions.

Regardless of why a joint exhibition of Freed and Orlowsky’s work has not been undertaken in the past, ACME Fine Art’s gallery director David Cowan’s decision to mount a joint solo show is based on what he believes can be learned by looking at their work side by side. Freed & Orlowsky were both participants in the development of the radically avant-garde movement that has come to be known as Abstract Expressionism. The sprit of this movement and of this time helped build a community of artists that included their friends and colleagues: Hans Hofmann, George McNeil, Giorgio Cavallon, Mercedes Matter, Jan Muller, Myron Stout, James Gahagan, Paul Resika, Myrna Harrison, Haynes Ownby, and many more too numerous to mention. By looking at the work together the curatorial intent is that Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed’s tremendous individual artistic strengths be illuminated by proximate comparison, and that by viewing the work in this manner we will better understand both the artists and the spirit of their time.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition of artwork by William Freed and Lillian Orlowsky will open with a reception from six to eight on the evening of Friday, 11 January 2008. The exhibition will be on view in ACME Fine Art’s 38 Newbury Street, Boston, galleries through Saturday 9 February. Please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551 for further details. Gallery hours are 11:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.

HERMAN MARIL in New England

30 November, 2007 – 5 January, 2008

2008 marks the centennial year of Herman Maril’s birth. ACME Fine Art is delighted to open this important year with the first in a series of exhibitions that have been organized to honor this accomplished artist and educator. This will be ACME Fine Art’s second solo exhibition of paintings by Herman Maril and it will open with a reception on Friday 30 November 2007 from six to eight in the evening.

From early on in his career Herman Maril’s work has been highly regarded. After a chance meeting on Cape Cod in the 1930s, Duncan Phillips became one of Maril’s most significant patrons. Today the Phillips Collection contains thirteen paintings by Herman Maril. In addition to the Phillips Collection, Maril’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Academy of Design, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Baltimore Museum of Art to name a few. Centennial exhibitions during the course of 2008 and 2009 are planned at the Walters Museum of Art, Baltimore, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod, and the Ward Museum at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Although Maril is most frequently associated with the communities of artists in Maryland –where he taught on the College Park campus for more than thirty years- and Provincetown –where he painted each summer in his East End studio for more than thirty years as well- Herman Maril should not be thought of as a regionalist artist. His work addresses in both style and substance, themes that are universal in nature. While in one sense they are timeless, in another they very much capture the spirit of the age in which they were created. As with his good friends and colleagues Karl Knaths and Milton Avery, Herman Maril’s work began with a basis in cubism, and developed into a personal modern idiom that has thus far defied art historical categorization.

The theme for ACME Fine Art’s second solo exhibition of paintings by Herman Maril is IN NEW ENGLAND. The common denominator for this chronologically diverse survey is the New England region as locale. The early paintings date from the 1930s and 1940s and were painted either in Cummington Massachusetts where the artist spent several summers teaching, or on Cape Cod where many early summer vacations were spent. In 1948 Maril and his wife Esta began spending summers in Provincetown and in 1958 they bought what had been the Long Point Post Office after the building had been floated across the harbor to Provincetown and relocated on Bradford Street. The later paintings in the exhibition date from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and were painted either on Cape Cod or on frequent summer trips along the coast of Maine –including Monhegan Island.

HERMAN MARIL In New England will be on view in ACME Fine Art’s 38 Newbury Street, Boston, galleries through Saturday 5 January 2008. Please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551 for further details. Gallery hours are 11:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.

MAINE MODERN TWO

12 October – 24 November, 2007

On 12 October 2007 an exhibition of paintings by distinguished modern artists associated with the state of Maine will open at ACME Fine Art, Boston. A reception from six to eight on Friday evening (the 12th) will mark the occasion. This is the second group exhibition on this theme mounted by gallery director, David Cowan. The exhibition is appropriately titled MAINE MODERN TWO. It will run through Saturday 24 November.

MAINE MODERN TWO will feature artwork that was created as early as the 1920s and as recently as last week. Early modern artists whose work will be included in the exhibition are Marguerite Zorach and Maitland De Gorgorza. Fine examples of mid-century modern painting by Michael Loew, William Kienbusch, Dorothy Eisner, Maurice Freedman, Panos Ghikas, and Charles Duback will be also be on display. Contemporary examples by Stephen Pace, Philip Malicoat, George Lloyd and Robert Hamilton will figure prominently in the exhibition as well. An additional highlight of the exhibition will be three important abstract canvasses by Will Barnet that were recently on view at the Montclair Museum of Art as a part of the artist’s solo exhibition there.

MAINE MODERN TWO will be on view at ACME Fine Art, Boston from 12 October through 24 November, 2007. ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Gallery hours are 11:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.