DANIEL BRUSTLEIN: PLACES

Picture 07729 October – 23 December 2011

A one-man exhibition of paintings by Daniel “Alain” Brustlein will open at ACME Fine Art on Saturday 29 October 2011. A reception from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. will mark the occasion. For the gallery’s first exhibition devoted solely to the paintings of Daniel Brustlein, Gallery Director David Cowan has chosen a group of fifteen landscape themed canvases created between 1958 and 1986 that collectively form a sort of retrospective travelogue that reflects the artist’s interest in places and cultures around the world. The paintings themselves are studio paintings done from sketches that were created en-plein-aire in the locales they portray; however, they are also sensate reflections of Brustlein’s time spent in the places that he loved, including, France, Italy, North Africa, New York and Provincetown. In each of the paintings the artist poetically renders the architecture, and the natural environment of his subject, but he also captures a sense of each locale and conveys both mood and atmosphere, thereby allowing the viewer to travel with him from place to place, all the while seeing these enchanted locations through Brustlein’s uncanny eyes. In an era when much contemporary art turns its back on beauty and elegance, Brustlein –through paintings like these- restores our faith in such concepts.

Brustlein grew up in Alsatian, France, and as a young man he studied at the Ecole des Arts & Métiers, and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva. At the urging of a former classmate he moved to New York in 1927, immediately finding work as an illustrator and cartoonist. By 1933 he had become a U.S. citizen. In New York, Brustlein quickly developed a wide circle of friends involved in the avant-garde visual and literary arts, as well as dance. Some of them included, E.B.White, Willem de Kooning, Edwin Denby, Rudy Burkhardt, Harold Rosenberg, Jack Tworkov, and Tworkov’s sister, the artist Janice Biala, whom he went on to marry in 1942.

To many, Daniel Brustlein is best known as the sardonic cartoonist “Alain” whose droll cartoons frequently graced the pages of The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and for whom he contributed no less than 10 covers over the course of three decades. He also authored/illustrated numerous children’s books including such titles as The Elephant and the Flea, and Alain’s Steeplechase. The fine art of painting was Brustlein’s true vocation however, and his career as a painter is no less illustrious.

Brustlein’s talent was recognized early on. His paintings were frequently included in group exhibitions in France and Switzerland before he moved to New York. Since that time, some of the more notable venues where Brustlein’s work has been included in group exhibitions are: American Academy of Arts and Letters (NY, 1957, ‘67), Corcoran Gallery of Art (Annual, 1958, ‘60), Musee des Beaux-Arts (Rennes, 1962), New School Art Center (NY, 1965), Museum of Modern Art (travelling exhibition, 10 museum venues, 1969), Musee Cantini (Marseilles, 1973), Centre George Pompidou (Paris, 1977), and the Bronx Museum (NY, 1988.)

It was not until 1955 that Brustlein was given his first solo gallery exhibition in New York. That came at the groundbreaking Stable Gallery where his work was exhibited in group and solo exhibitions during the course of that decade. Prior to the Daniel Brustlein: Places exhibition at ACME Fine, Brustlein’s artwork has been featured in no fewer than twenty solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries in Europe and the United States.

Daniel Brustlein: Places will be on view from Saturday 29 October 2011 through Friday 23 December 2011 at ACME Fine Art, 38 Newbury Street, Boston MA, 02116, and it will be viewable on line beginning 29 October at www.acmefineart.com . Exhibition catalogues are available for purchase through the gallery. For further information please e-mail Leanne Tremblay at info@acmefineart.com .