Monday, May 14, 2007
The Power of Women of a Certain Age
From artblog by libby
Post by Andrea Kirsh
I saw another eye-opener at Susan Teller Gallery (not far from the Drawing Center, at 568 Broadway, 212 941-7335), a small overview, not quite a retrospective, of Anne Ryan’s work. Ryan is best known for the collages she made after 1948 when she saw an exhibition of Kurt Schwitters’ work. A couple of these used to be on more-or-less permanent exhibition at MoMA, but that was years ago. I haven’t seen them in decades.
The Wine Glass, about 1945, woodcut on black paper, 16 x 21 inches.
Ryan only began painting in her fifties and her career was but fifteen years. This exhibition has one collage and twenty-seven paintings, drawings and innovative wood-block prints. It traces her experience in Stanley William Hayter’s print studio and her exploration of Constructivism and Surrealism. While her collages have a clear debt to Schwitters, they have their own characteristic palette and delicacy, and rather than the urban detritus favored by Schwitters, Ryan favored varied types of fabric and fine papers, some of it hand-made. Her wood-cuts employ a single block which she inked by hand, in multiple colors of varying transparency which yielded variation within an edition. She often printed on black paper in another sort of artistic recycling (they were the wrappers from photographic film). This gives the work a striking coloration and depth. The exhibition is on through May 12, and should you miss it, the gallery will likely have some of her work available.