November 6 – 30, 2014
On Thursday November 6th, there will be a solo exhibition of lithographs from the estate of Theodore Roszak in the Main Galleries. The exhibition is curated by Anne MacDougall. The work will be on display through November 30th with a reception for the artist on the second Saturday of the show, Saturday November 15th from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Anne MacDougall will attend. Bruce Gagnier will have new sculpture exhibited in the Sculpture Garden. The Carriage House will be closed for the winter season.
THEODORE ROSZAK 1907-1981
An Informal Biography
“My father loved to draw. He drew his entire life and literally not a day passed when pen or pencil was not in contact with some form of paper: the back of an envelope, the back of a letter, paper pads, good paper, drawing paper, rolls of paper. He said that drawing saved his life. It took him out of a world of poverty and violence into the world of the imagination where anything was possible.
As a young child in Chicago he drew at the kitchen table. When he was ten he won a citywide competition for his drawing of a fire engine. It was pair of ice skates. This was a very big deal for a poor kid who was already working to make money for the family. By the time he was fourteen he was drawing after school at the Art Institute of Chicago and by the time he was sixteen he was a full time student there majoring in painting.
The lithographs were done during two different specific time frames. The early lithos date from 1928 to 1934. The ones from the 1920’s were while he was in school. Black litho pencil portraits or scenes that tell a story, somewhat symbolic, romantic, polish peasant types, a painter, a musician, the botanist, his sister. Character and personality acutely observed and defined. Then there were three years of traveling scholarships from the Art Institute, one year traveling in America and then two years traveling and painting in Europe.
Upon returning to New York he set up his studio in Staten Island. He had his own press and continued making prints for the next few years. Europe changed him. The work was now more cubist and experimental. The figures are geometric, the landscape abstract, reflecting his exposure to the modernist ideas that were the rage in Paris and Prague. As always, he drew constantly.
By 1934 his visual vocabulary had expanded to include photograms, abstract paintings, constructions made from machined wood, metal and plastic and wire. Lithography was left behind. He learned to weld making planes for the war effort. By the mid 1940s he was committed to making welded sculpture. He still drew 4 hours a day.
It was not until the early 1970s that he resumed doing lithographs. Diminished by having suffered several heart attacks, he could no longer sustain the physical demands of the welding process. He now drew full time. He did a series of lithos to complement the visionary ideas he was preoccupied with: political satire, surrealistic outer space fantasies, lyric heads, erotic adventures, romantic landscapes. Whatever he thought about he drew. Some are seductively beautiful others are simply disturbing. They are the brackets that enclose the work of an artist with an extraordinary imagination whose life was characterized by his passion for drawing.”
–Sara Jane Roszak, 2014
All Work courtesy The Estate of Theodore Roszak
Sculpture, paintings, and drawings from the Estate of Theodore Roszak are represented by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, New York
“I look at the clay, yes, but more through it toward a possible image of a figure; one that is a variant and not me. The material, a necessity, must fuse with the person it describes. The tools and my hands leave traces, and even more so the moving around and re-arranging of pieces of the material (many of which contain the details) leave the remains of a story about work. This record; of my looking for – on the skin of what appears as another human should be seen as part of the particular terms of the culture of modeling, and in my case a hybrid: collage/modeling. The arrangement of material exceeds and sometimes only approximates. What is left over – the shaping that is outside the normative figure is not a form of style but the remains of many changes marking a movement toward the emergence of the other person.”
Bruce Gagnier, 2014
All Work courtesy Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, New York
John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534