Sylvia (Scheuber) Fein (1919 – )

Titled: Pregnant Lady Beset by Fears Oil on Canvas, measures 24x30 singed lower left, dated 1950 Farhat Art Museum Collection.

Titled: Pregnant Lady Beset by Fears
Oil on Canvas, measures 24×30
singed lower left, dated 1950
Farhat Art Museum Collection.

The 2012 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
entitled “In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States” includes works in a variety of media
dating from 1931 to 1968, and some later examples that
demonstrate Surrealism’s influence on the feminist movement. Included in the exhibition are notable works by Sylvia Fein, painter and part of the influential group of magic-realist artists that emerged from the Midwest in the 1940’s. Ms. Fein’s painting, The
Lady with the White Knight, probably best exemplifies her individual style, one whose journey began in Wisconsin. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Fein worked with Prof. James Watrous in the art history techniques laboratory. Here, she developed an affinity for experimenting with complex recipes for egg temperas, her favored medium. She also studied drawing with Roland Stebbins and design and commercial techniques with Jon van Koert. Fein, however, always counted Marshall Glasier, who taught her “the value of drawing above anything else,” as the person who most influenced her understanding of art. In fact, Marshall Glasier was instrumental for bringing together the group of artists, which included John Wilde, Fein, Dudley Huppler, Karl Priebe, and Gertrude Abercrombie. In their own individual ways, they each “made art that explored the irrational and revealed the fantastic in the everyday.” Fein and Wilde were especially stricken by the uncertainty of the world during World War II, and their work showed it. While Fein did few paintings that are specifically autobiographical, she closely resembles the women in many of her paintings. In 1944, Fein relocated to Ajijca, Mexico, where she set up a studio and went to work on a series of paintings that were included in her first show with Perls Galleries, 1946. After her husband returned from the war, they moved to northern California. Fein completed her last series of large-scale figure paintings here in the 1950’s. By 1956, she was painting landscapes and seascapes on a nearly miniature scale, capturing the minute details of the swirling waves of San Francisco Bay. To her delight, Fein found herself working with greater spontaneity and achieving faster results than ever before. By the 1970’s, Fein had largely stopped painting to focus on literary pursuits. As recently as 2003 she has resumed painting. Fein exhibited at the Milwaukee Art Institute, 1942-43; Art Institute of Chicago, 1943-44; Whitney Museum of American Art, 1944-46; National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1946; Perls Gallery, 1946; Sheldon Memorial Gallery, Nebraska, 1947; Toledo Museum of Art, 1947; University of Wisconsin; Wustum Museum of Art, Racine, Wisconsin, 1942; Feingarten Galleries, San Francisco, CA, 1957; Bakersfield Art Museum, Bakersfield California, 2007. In 2005, the Chazen Museum
of Art, Madison, Wisconsin mounted an important exhibition showcasing the works of Fein and her circle of friends entitled, “With Friends: Six Magic Realists 1940-1965.”

 

 

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Francisco Icaza (1930 – )

Titled: Bellezas   Oil on canvas   measures 40x32 inches  dated 1966   signed lower left  Provenance: Galerias Carlota S.A, Tijuana, Baja CFA.  Farhat Art Museum Collection

Titled: Bellezas
Oil on canvas
measures 40×32 inches
dated 1966
signed lower left
Provenance: Galerias Carlota S.A, Tijuana, Baja CFA.
Farhat Art Museum Collection

Francisco Icaza: recuerdos de La Farándula
Por Georgina Cebey
Junio 26, 2012 | Tags: Polifonía La Farándula mural Casino de la Selva Bertolt Brecht

Francisco Icaza (México, 1930) espera en el vestíbulo del Centro Nacional de Conservación y Registro del Patrimonio Artístico Mueble a que toque su turno para entrar. La suya no es una visita normal, es un reencuentro, pues en uno de los talleres de esta dependencia del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes se encuentra guardado el mural que realizara hace más de medio siglo en el auditorio del Casino de la Selva en Cuernavaca. De pie, frente a la pintura, Icaza espera un momento como si su mirada no se acostumbrara aún a ver la obra en otro sitio que no fuera al interior de una de las bóvedas proyectada en ese entonces por el arquitecto Félix Candela.

Desde 1931, el Casino de la Selva funcionó como hotel y casa de juego, a partir de 1934, bajo la prohibición de juego establecida por Lázaro Cárdenas, el casino se transformó en centro vacacional de relevancia para el estado de Morelos. Años más tarde, con el arribo del exilio español, en este lugar se hospedaron algunos republicanos españoles, mismos que hicieron del conjunto un centro de reunión peculiar en el que refugiados convivían con artistas e intelectuales mexicanos. Ahí se hospedaron entre otros, el filósofo José Gaos, el pintor y líder de los artistas republicanos José Renau y el arquitecto Félix Candela. Mientras este último construía nuevas instalaciones en el conjunto, el escultor mexicano Federico Canessi realizaba piezas para los jardines, en tanto que José Reyes Meza hacía un mural en la Sala de Juego del antiguo edificio del casino.

Felix and Dorothy Candela Archive, Princeton University.

En 1959 Francisco Icaza llegó a este lugar con su familia, una estancia vacacional se convirtió en una residencia prolongada cuyo resultado permanecería en el interior del Casino de la Selva hasta su demolición, en 2001. Dedicado al teatro, elmural La farándula es un homenaje al dramaturgo alemán Bertolt Brecht, realizado tres años después de su muerte; la obra muestra como personaje central a una vedette, junto a ella una cámara que representa el cine mudo y del lado opuesto, un mimo, figura icónica del teatro. La tragedia, pintada como una mujer negra, acompaña al teatro del siglo de oro español, al arlequín y a la muerte. También aparece el carnaval  y al final, con una bolsa de dinero, el productor. Cuando Icaza  observó el auditorio donde se ubicaría el mural, el lugar estaba terminado, los trabajadores ya habían retirado la cimbra que daba estructura auxiliar a las caprichosas estructuras de concreto de Candela. Una cubierta ligera con forma de bóveda, “algo más parecido a una canasta invertida”, descansaba sobre la superficie en blanco.  A quince metros de altura Francisco Icaza, de 29 años y tal vez en un proceso expresionista, dibujó y borró tres veces todo el mural hasta que, luego de un mes, el cuarto trazo fue definitivo y la pintura quedó terminada. Realizado sobre una superficie de yute y montado sobre un bastidor de caoba desflemada, los acrílicos con los que se pintó la obra fueron desarrollados especialmente por el Departamento de Química Industrial del Instituto Politécnico Nacional.

Francisco Icaza 2
Georgina Cebey
Pero La Farándula es también motivo para ver otras cosas, a 53 años de distancia los recuerdos de esos tiempos invaden la mente de Icaza y el pintor se auto-construye ante su obra. Para el artista, hijo de diplomáticos mexicanos y constante viajero, formado en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de Bruselas, y por algún tiempo discípulo de Rufino Tamayo en Nueva York, “la pintura es la transformación de la naturaleza en algo permanente”. Tras esta afirmación se oculta una personalidad crítica y comprometida con ese proceso de cambio y evolución que rebasa lo estético: los relatos sobre su amistad con Dr. Atl. -huésped frecuente del Casino de la Selva-,  las conversaciones con José Gaos, León Felipe y Félix Candela, la convivencia con Antonio Rodríguez Luna, la comisión que le hiciera Vicente Lombardo Toledano para que representara a los pintores en la delegación de intelectuales mexicanos que irían con Cárdenas a Cuba el mismo año que pintó el mural, su trabajo como Secretario General del Comité a favor de la libertad de Siqueiros cuando este se encontraba preso en Lecumberri, entre muchos de los recuerdos de Icaza, dejan ver un panorama de cambios culturales y políticos en los que el artista participó activamente, como militante comprometido con sus ideales y como artista dispuesto a llevar ese espíritu de transformación como una huella personal papable en el ámbito de la plástica.

Francisco Icaza

Francisco Icaza

Miembro fundador de movimientos significativos para la pintura mexicana como  Nueva Presencia, el Salón Independiente o Confrontación 66, y expositor en prestigiosos lugares, Icaza contempla. Después de sobrevivir a una demolición y luego de permanecer algunos meses a la intemperie sin sufrir daños considerables, La Farándula parece recordarle a su autor que no hay pasado sin testigos, bien podría decirse que la historia de Icaza, un trayecto de combates y personajes, el trazo del camino hacia una nueva manera de entender la pintura mexicana, se encuentra reflejada en cada una de las figuras del mural.  La obra no es accesible al público en general, el tema es delicado pues la compañía que compró los terrenos del Casino de la Selva asumió la propiedad de La Farándula, sin embargo,  se encuentra restaurada y custodiada por el Centro Nacional de Conservación y Registro del Patrimonio Artístico Mueble. A través de la imagen o de la memoria, esta obra sigue siendo recordada por muchos de los visitantes del Casino de la Selva al tiempo que continúa generando información, ella está en espera de ser la protagonista de una historia que aún no se cuenta, los recuerdos de su autor son sólo una pequeña parte de ese posible relato.

John Langley Howard (1902 – 1999)

John Langley Howard (1902 - 1999)

John Langley Howard  (1902 – 1999) Titled Abstract 1 ( Under the sea ) Measures 14×21 inches   egg tempura on board Farhat Art Museum Collection  John Langley Howard was born in Montclair, NJ on Feb. 5, 1902.   Howard was brought to California by his parents as an infant.  After majoring in English and engineering at UC, he enrolled at the California College of Arts & Crafts (Oakland), and then continued at Art Students League in NYC under Kenneth Hayes Miller.  Returning to California in 1926, he held his first exhibition at San Francisco’s Modern Gallery.  Shortly after his return, he and his wife bought a house in Monterey and spent many years there.  Howard was active as an artist until a few years before his demise in San Francisco on Nov. 15, 1999.  Originally inspired by the landscapes of Cézanne, his work evolved into Social Realism during the 1930s; however, in the early 1940s he returned to painting landscapes in a style of meticulous realism with symbolic overtones.    Member:  Carmel AA; SFAA; Marin Society of Artists; Calif. Society of Mural Painters.   Exh:  Club Beaux Arts (SF), 1928 (solo); Golden Gate International Exposition ,1939; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1939 (solo); Foundation of Western Art (LA), 1940; American Watercoloar Society, 1940s; Carnegie Inst., 1941 (solo); Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), 1943; Art Institute of Chicago, 1945; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1946; Lawson Gallery (SF), 1975 (solo); Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 1983 (solo); De Young Museum, 1991.   Works held in public places: IBM (NY);  Security Pacific Nat’l Bank Headquarters (LA); California Palace of the Legion Honor; Oakland Museum; Coit Tower (SF); Univ. of Utah.   Source: Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940” Inview with the artist or his family; Who’s Who in American Art 1938-70; Art of California, May 1991; SF Chronicle, 11-26-1999 (obit).

John Jurayj (Lebanese, born 1968)

John Jurayj (Lebanese, born 1968)   Night Time, 1997 signed, dated and titled 'John S.   Jurayj / 1997' (on the reverse) casein, acrylex, ink and watercolor on canvas  46 x 40in.  PROVENANCE:   Obelisk Gallery, Boston.

John Jurayj (Lebanese, born 1968)
Night Time, 1997 signed, dated and titled ‘John S.
Jurayj / 1997′ (on the reverse) casein, acrylex, ink and watercolor on canvas
46 x 40in.
PROVENANCE:
Obelisk Gallery, Boston.

John Jurayj (b. 1968) received his B.A. in Architecture from Washington University and his MFA from Bard College. His work has appeared in New York and nationwide group exhibitions for over a decade. In 2000, Jurayj had his first solo exhibition, “White Room,” at the non-profit gallery White Columns in New York City.
Watching the news coming out of Lebanon, one can easily conclude that the place is always smoldering, that its capital Beirut is a living, breathing ruin of buildings burned and besieged. This isn’t the case, of course, but given the visuals that have accompanied the Hizbullah-led opposition’s latest and most demonstrative putsch, Lebanon these days certainly looks like the charred carcass of a failed state. Topic Art reviews The Review
There are at least three times more Lebanese living abroad than at home. Most of those who have left over the past half-century have done so in the midst of a war or in anticipation of the next one, and fury over the country’s facility for self-destruction is scorched into the diaspora’s collective memory. Many first generation emigrants don’t look back. They dismiss Lebanon, deny its promise and embrace their adopted homeland instead. But a few second and third generation immigrants suffer an incorrigible curiosity that is passed down through family rather than experienced firsthand. It is their unique and perhaps unfortunate inheritance to long for Lebanon in the abstract even as they wonder, in concrete terms, if its conflagration will ever cease to burn. The painter John Jurayj was born in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago, in 1968. His parents met on a compound in Saudi Arabia when they were both working for the oil company Aramco – he was a surgeon, she was a nurse. They married in the United States after they were unable to wed either in Lebanon or in Italy – he is Greek Orthodox, she is Roman Catholic.
“Remember this was 1961,” Jurayj says. They never expected to stay in the US. Rather, they planned to return to Lebanon and school their children there. But by the time John was seven, the outbreak of civil war made an American education a much preferable option. By the time fifteen years of fighting had passed, the hope of returning home for anything more than a visit was gone. Still, since the early 1990s, Jurayj has been returning to Lebanon regularly. He studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and started painting in Rome during a junior year abroad. He has been exhibiting his work steadily since 1995, and earned a degree in fine art from Bard College in New York, three years ago. He lives and works in Brooklyn, but he finds much of his inspiration in Beirut. It would be trite to say that Jurayj discovered his roots through his paintings.
He translates his relationship with Lebanon into art, certainly, but it is a complicated process mediated by time, distance, family, culture, violence, sexual identity and political circumstance. His paintings explore “the complex space between exile and immigration”, he says, and they delve into a notion of an identity that is constantly shifting between the Arab world and the West. But they are also a means of “asserting authority over my father, honestly”, says Jurayj, who is gay and considers his sexuality an important factor in the cultural equation that defines his artwork. Jurayj’s paintings explore beauty and destruction in the same pictorial frame. They are as engaged with the history of Lebanon as they are with post-war American and European art. As such, they create an unusual but highly valuable link between a generation of artists in Beirut and their counterparts in the West. Jurayj’s treatment of trauma and remembrance tethers him to the works of Lebanese artists such as Walid Raad, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (who despite the spelling difference bears the same name as Jurayj, though the two artists are not, to their knowledge, related). It also places him, and by extension them, in a much longer, cross-disciplinary lineage that includes the painter Gerhard Richter, the writer W. G. Sebald and the master of memory himself, Marcel Proust.
JohnJurayj
USA/Lebanon,1968
ASpecialKind ofWasteland:JohnJurayj’sPaintings ofBeirut
The sun has gone under. The desertis atmymental door because  Beirutis a special
kind of a wasteland.It defies ourmeans, belittles our intelligence, defeatsthe will….
Once thisissaid, itsmystery unfolds, its beauty too.
 –Etel Adnan
John Jurayj paints landscapes of war‐torn Beirut. His canvases feature ghosts of the
city’s bombed buildings—the destruction overlaid with drips and streaks of luridly
vivid neon paint. Strife has scarred the city, torn asunder its historical memory,
created flows of emigrants from its ports. By estimates, more Lebanese live in exile
than in the country itself. “This is my concrete reality; I was born in America,” Jurayj
explains. “It is this diasporic distance that informs my art.”ii This interstitial space of
exile creates a distance that permits “ways of seeing” that suffuse Jurayj’s
paintings.
iii
Exile produces complicated geographies that disrupt one’s sense of place, shape
one’s identity, and color one’s experiences. Despite the distance of time and space,
trauma creates ties that bind. “Trauma is a productive experience,” Jurayj told me as
he walked me through an exhibition of his paintings in Chelsea in 2007. “I read the
images of Lebanon from a space of trauma, an inherently emotional and personal
trauma that creates a space—between myself and Lebanon, between myself and my
father. They both remain, in a sense, inaccessible to me.” Jurayj’s cultural politics,
then, are deeply personal. He is an Arab‐American; he is an artist; he is a gay man
whose father was born and raised in Lebanon. The weight of a war‐torn homeland,
of familial expectations, of different registers of masculinity bears down. Edward
Said, whose work has deeply influenced Jurayj’s art, spoke of the “need to
reassemble an identity out of the refractions and discontinuities of exile…”iv In a
sense, Jurayj reassembles his identity in his paintings.
Jurayj mines photographs of Lebanon from his family albums and press archives.
“My work is a translation of these images through different aspects of art history—
abstract expressionism, large‐scale landscape paintings.” The formal aspect of his
painting is referential, showing influences of Gustave Courbet and Gerhard Richter.
“Courbet is a god to me,” Jurayj says. “He showed the materiality of paint.” Richter’s
formal experimentation stems from his own personal history—split between
representational painting and modernist abstraction, each affiliated with the
ideologies of the divided postwar Germany.v Jurayj’s artistic approach embraces
both strategies of painting. Through the layers of neon abstractionism, one sees the
skeletal remains of buildings—the U.S. Marine barracks bombed in 1983, the site of
the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri in 2005, the buildings pierced by missiles
in 2006.  This is Jurayj’s concrete reality. Though he lives and paints in New York City, his
aze is directed at Beirut—and within the rubble, he has found its insidious beauty
nd his own sense of self.
ShivaBalaghi
Etel Adnan, i
“Time Desire Fog,” (2004). www.blithe.com/bhq8.1/8.1.04.html.
ii Jurayj’s quotes are from interviews with the author in December 2007 and March
009. Much of my own thinking about art and exile, which appears in other writing,
sations with Ju
2
has been informed by my profoundly revealing conver rayj.
iii The term is borrowed from Berger; see John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London:
Penguin, 1972). Jurayj was born in Chicago to a Lebanese father and American
mother (see artist’s bio).
iv
Edward Said, “Reflections on Exile,” Reflections on Exile andOther Essays
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), 179.
v The influence of Richter on Jurayj became clearer to me as I viewed the excellent
exhibition “Gerhard Richter Portraits” at the National Portrait Gallery in London in
winter 2009.  For an erudite discussion of the connections between form and
history in Richter’s work, see Benjamin H. D. Buchloch, “Divided memory and Post‐
Traditional Identity: Gerhard Richter’s Work of Mourning,” October 75 (Winter
1996): 61–82