$10,000 toward The Life and Work of Carlos Almaraz, 1941-1989, an exhibition, catalogue, and the acquisition of a painting. The Mexican-born artist worked in New York and in Los Angeles where he first received recognition as a muralist in the early 1970s. Almaraz was interested in social themes such as the farm workers’ movement. He later painted fiery narratives, depicting turbulent urban landscapes.
Grant Recipients in 1997
$4,000 to conserve works by the artist, in conjunction with Rediscovering James Brooks: WPA Murals and Other Figural Works, organized by curator Marilyn Kushner. Brooks painted the mural Flight at the Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport. He later departed from realism and worked in the Abstract Expressionist style of the New York School, for which he is best known.
$20,000 toward Transformation: The Art of Joan Brown, a retrospective exhibition and publication, organized by BAM director Jacquelynn Baas and OMC curator Karen Tsujimoto. Brown was a painter and sculptor who worked in figurative and expressionistic styles in the Bay Area from the 1950s. In later life, she painted family, friends, and other domestic subjects.
$15,000 toward Fritz Bultman: Collages, an exhibition and publication, organized by guest curator Evan Firestone of the University of Georgia. Although Bultman was also known as a sculptor, he worked in abstract collage utilizing drawing and paper painted with saturated color. He was a student of Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown, and was associated with the first-generation Abstract Expressionists.
$5,000 toward Carlotta Corpron: Photographs, an exhibition and catalogue of the photographer’s work, organized by curator Marina Freeman. Corpron taught design, art history, and creative photography at Texas Women’s University for many years and produced unique photographs through the systematic and graphic manipulation of light, shining it through and reflecting it from translucent objects such as paperweights, glass bricks, cubes and sheets of plastic.
$5,000 for the services of independent curator Anna Christine Hansen, to catalogue the artist’s work. Doris Cross worked in New York and then in Santa Fe as an artist and was a lifelong art teacher. Although Cross worked in several different media, she is, perhaps, best known for her “found words” or “visual poetry” works, which were inspired by and drawn from a 1913 Webster’s Dictionary.
$25,000 to acquire up to 16 works on paper by Dorothy Dehner, and to organize an exhibition by curator Ruth Fine. Dehner was a student of Stanley William Hayter at his renowned printmaking center and workshop, Atelier 17. She worked in the New York area in sculpture and print media, and her art is noted for its “lyrical and architectonic approaches to abstraction.”
$20,000 to conserve and treat up to 30 Balcomb Greene paintings damaged by smoke in a studio fire in 1996. Beginning his career in the 1930s, Greene was employed by the WPA and executed murals at the Williamsburgh Houses, a planned community in Brooklyn, and at the Hall of Medicine at the 1939 World’s Fair. He became involved in the advancement of “nonobjective” art through the American Abstract Artists, but later introduced the figure as a dominant element in his painting.
$15,000 to evaluate the condition and undertake the conservation of up to 90 pieces of Hague’s massive, abstract, wood sculpture, carved largely from tree-trunk bases weighing up to 700 pounds each. Hague was born in Constantinople and worked as a figurative sculptor early in his New York City career. In the 1940s, he moved to Woodstock, New York where he spent the rest of his life.
$10,000 toward Awakening the Spirits: Sculpture by Bessie Harvey, an exhibition and catalogue, organized by curator Stephen C. Wicks, and the acquisition of a work. Living in East Tennessee, Harvey was a self-taught artist who sought out and embellished pieces of found wood, tree roots, and household objects to create small narrative scenes depicting biblical heroes as well as the lives of African Americans.
$10,000 toward How to Draw a Bunny: A Ray Johnson Portrait, an Elevator Pictures documentary film on the artist, produced by John Walter and Andrew Moore. Johnson was an enigmatic art world figure who has been called the “most famous unknown artist.” Remembered for his role in the early development of Pop Art and “mail art” (collage sent via the U.S. Postal Service), he gradually withdrew from others, yet continued to create.
$15,000 toward Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1944-1977, an exhibition guest curated by Ann Gibson of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Known primarily as an abstract colorist, Lewis grew up and worked in Harlem among other notable African American artists. He taught art and participated in the Harlem Artists Guild, the WPA, and the group of artists and writers called “306”, which included Romare Bearden, Ralph Ellison, Jacob Lawrence, and Richard Wright.
$12,500 toward Michael Loew: Nature into Abstraction, an exhibition, organized by curator Susan C. Larsen. Loew first worked in New York in the manner of the Ashcan School, but later became a founding member of American Abstract Artists. His late oil paintings and watercolors combine floating shapes and objects within a geometric grid, expressing his interest in the merging of natural and abstract forms.
$15,000 toward Cauldron of Excitement: The Paintings of George McNeil, a traveling retrospective exhibition with catalogue organized by director Kathleen Monaghan. Born in Brooklyn, McNeil trained as a painter at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League as well as with Hans Hofmann. McNeil’s work ranges from classic, geometric Cubism to his later figurative painting and printmaking, distinguished by an expressive use of color.
$15,000 toward the acquisition of Silueta Series in Mexico, a portfolio of photographs by Ana Mendieta, documenting the use of her body in a series of performative outdoor sculptural installations done in the 1970s. These images will be included in an exhibition, organized by project curator Alma Ruiz. Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, Mendieta made sculptures and earthworks based on mythic female forms, influenced by Cuban and Mexican spiritual traditions. Her “interventions” into nature included materials such as rock formations, tree trunks, roots, leaves, debris, sand, and water.
$10,000 toward the research component of the publication Eye on the Avant-Garde: Photographs by Peter Moore, featuring approximately 200 images, many previously unpublished, with an essay by Barbara Moore, his widow, collaborator, and art historian. Peter Moore’s photographs document and describe various avant-garde performance movements of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s such as art happenings, Fluxus, Judson Dance Theater, and other intermedia.
$35,000 toward Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992), an exhibition and accompanying catalogue of his paintings and works on paper, organized by curator Lowery S. Sims. One of the youngest of the New York Abstract Expressionist painters, Pousette-Dart’s work was influenced by an interest in primitive forms and mysticism as well as developments in European modernism.
$15,000 toward a traveling exhibition, Elyssa Rundle (1934-1994): The Spirit of the Paint, organized by director Lisa Tremper Barnes. Trained as an artist at Moore College of Art and Design, Rundle worked for over 20 years in New York and Philadelphia and created a body of large-scale, gestural abstract paintings.
$10,000 toward the photography component of Flaming Creature: The Art and Life of Jack Smith, a retrospective exhibition organized by guest curator Edward Leffingwell. An influential force in the history of film, contemporary art, and performance in New York, Smith’s photographs from the late 1950s and early 1960s often depict narrative tableaux populated by the eccentric figures of underground bohemia.
$20,000 toward organizing and preserving the work and related documents of Robert Watts’ career. Working as an artist and an educator in the New York area and later in rural Pennsylvania, Watts was connected to the Neo-Dada, Pop Art, and Fluxus movements of the 1950s to the 1960s. His diverse body of sculptural works and kinetic constructions comments on American culture and often utilizes photographic representation of everyday objects, as well as new or experimental materials such as plastic or neon.
$15,000 toward Steve Wheeler and the Indian Space Painters, an exhibition and catalogue, organized by curator Gail Stavitsky, and associated painting conservation costs. Although known for his reclusive personality, Wheeler was a leading figure in New York associated with the Indian Space artists of the late 1940s, who were inspired by both modernism and the indigenous art of the Americas. Wheeler’s complex paintings combined Native American art forms with aspects of Cubism and Surrealism.
$10,000 toward the cataloguing, research and publication of a scholarly text on Adja Yunker’s life and work, organized by art critic and historian Marek Bartelik. Yunkers was born in Latvia and came to America in 1947 as a European-trained painter and printmaker, who participated in the development of various movements such as Expressionism, Surrealism, Mexican Social Realism, and Abstract Expressionism.
$42,339 for an Artists’ Estate Planning Conference, hosted by the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation’s Artists Advisory Committee, and to publish and disseminate a related handbook for visual artists, with The Judith Rothschild Foundation serving as co-sponsor. The handbook will identify various estate planning needs of visual artists and corresponding strategies to address them. The handbook will also provide practical, legal, and organizational guidance for artists, their estates, widows, widowers, children, and designated representatives. (Special Trustee’s Grant)
$5,000 toward Women and Abstract Expressionism: Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1959, the catalogue written by guest curator Joan Marter for the traveling exhibition. Included is work by: Dorothy Dehner, Perle Fine, Betty Parsons, Ethel Schwabacher, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell. The exhibition will present the work of these artists who have generally not been as fully studied as other better known members of the New York School.