BIALA: Vision and Memory
Curated by Diane Kelder, Professor Emerita of Art History, The Graduate Center, CUNY
September 12 – October 26, 2013
The painter known as Biala (1903 – 2000) pursued a career that spanned more than seven decades and gained critical recognition in New York and Paris. From an artist’s perspective she witnessed the rise of Abstract Expressionism and the dizzying succession of movements that radically transformed the very concept of art in the last decades of the 20th century. Through it all, she continued to paint exquisitely crafted canvases in a personal style that, even now, resists classification.
This long-overdue retrospective is the first comprehensive survey of Biala’s career. The exhibition features 50 distinctive canvases –including her charming interiors, still-lifes, and landscapes– that serve as a captivating introduction to her life and art. Also on display are prints, collages, and books by celebrated author Ford Madox Ford for which Biala provided illustrations, personal photographs, and announcements that document her social and artistic circles. A documentary and interview which was filmed in Biala’s studio in 1994 by Judith Wechsler will be on continuous view. A Lecture Series, Film Series, and a fully illustrated catalogue accompany the exhibition.
PROGRAMS & EVENTS
Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Exhibition walk-through with Guest Curator Diane Kelder, 6:00 PM
September 19, 2013 | 6:00 PM
“Biala: Themes and Variations”
With Diane Kelder, Guest Curator
This talk, focusing on the artist’s signature domestic interior scenes, still-lifes, and landscapes, includes many city-scapes or “portraits” of the cities she loved.
September 26, 2013 | 6:00 PM
“The Summer at Benfolly”
With Mary Maxwell, Poet and Art Critic
The influence of the “Summer at Benfolly,” which Biala and Ford Madox Ford spent with poet Allen Tate at his home in Tennessee along with Robert Lowell and Biala’s sister-in-law Wally Tworkov, may still be detected in a wide swath of art and literature of the group. Mary Maxwell will illustrate and discuss that season’s eccentric environment of creativity, as well as some of the political and social anxieties underlying Benfolly’s gathering of “geniuses.”
October 3, 2013 | 6:00 PM
“The Shared Life and Love of Janice Biala and Ford Madox Ford”
With Jason Andrew, Curator, Archivist, Estate of Janice Biala
When the young American painter Janice Biala met the great English novelist, Ford Madox Ford, she was twenty-six and he was fifty-seven. They were an unlikely pair yet their subsequent love affair and life together is one of the great untold stories of our time.
October 17, | 6:00 PM
“Les Girls: Women Artists in the 1950s”
With Amy Winter, Director, Godwin-Ternbach Museum
Issues and obstacles facing women artists in the social and political climate following World War II are explored in this talk, which illustrates the work of many women of that period.
Wednesdays from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
September 25, 2013 – October 23, 2013
Join us for our five-part film series of Parade’s End, a sweeping film adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s groundbreaking WWI novel that revolves around a love triangle between a conservative English aristocrat, his cold socialite wife, and a young suffragette.
Biala, Zuka and Shirley Jaffe (1995)
Continuous screening of a documentary by Judith Wechsler; cinematography by Richard Leacock, 54 minutes.