Gallery artist Knox Martin's work Woman with Folded Hands is included in the group exhibition Art Students League Lineages: Intermediate Forms curated by the newly appointed Curator at Large for the Art Students Leageue, Jillian Russo, who is also the former Director of Exhibitions at Hollis Taggart.
Jillian Russo will be curating a series of exhibitions on League Lineages in the Art Students League lobby at 215 W. 57th Street. Each exhibition will run for approximately 6—8 weeks. These artistic through lines capture dialogues and movements that defined the development of American art from the late nineteenth-century to the present. The inaugural exhibition takes famed painter and printmaker Will Barnet (1911-2012) as a starting point. The works on view illustrate the legacy of Barnet’s ideas about space and form, which he noted in a 1993 interview, include “the question of the space between two major forms. The intermediate form.”
Barnet’s students, printmaker and sculptor Terry Haass, who worked at the renowned printmaking studio Atelier 17, and Abstract Expressionist painter Knox Martin, take their own approach to intermediate forms. Haass’s shapes float, suspended in, and sometimes penetrated by, the space around them. Martin finds compositional rhythm in collage-like images that bring together Pop-art inspired pattern, gestural brushwork, and figurative elements. In turn, Martin’s students, Ezra Cohen and Natsuki Takauji continue to explore the interplay of form and void.
A student of League Instructor Stuart Davis, Barnet’s practice strove to encompass classical and modernist themes. His flattened, emblematic images spanned the modes of figuration and abstraction, often integrating the two with crisp shapes and a poetic use of color. Barnet noted, “I never wanted to destroy the modern idea—like Cezanne said he wanted a link between himself and tradition. I never wanted to destroy that link; I wanted that link to be solid.”