Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

Exhibitions

Current

Museum of Fine Arts Boston: Women Take the Floor

September 13, 2019–May 3, 2021
Art of the Americas Wing, Level 3

Women and Abstraction at Midcentury

This gallery takes an expansive look at abstraction, exploring how women artists reshaped the natural world for expressive purposes in a wide range of media including paintings, prints, textiles, ceramics, furniture, and jewelry.

Among the artists featured in this space are painters Carmen Herrera, Esphyr Slobodkina, and Maud Morgan and designers Greta Magnusson-Grossman and Olga Lee, as well as Claire Falkenstein, Laura Andreson, Margaret de Patta, and others who contributed to the development of the studio craft movement.

Upcoming

LewAllen Galleries
Sante Fe, New Mexico

New exhibition coming March 12 – April 17, 2021

Past

LewAllen Galleries
Sante Fe, New Mexico

Esphyr Slobodkina
December 27, 2019 – February 15, 2020

From the LewAllen Galleries website:

To those that know of her, Esphyr Slobodkina is a legend. A Russian immigrant to the United States in the late 1920s, Slobodkina played an integral role in the development of abstract art in America. From the 1930s through her passing in 2002, Slobodkina worked tirelessly, inventively, and often irreverently in a wide variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, textiles, and even children’s book illustrations.

By the time abstraction had become widely accepted in the 1950s and 1960s in the US, Slobodkina had compiled an impressive resume of exhibitions at galleries and museums including A.E. Gallatin’s Museum of Living Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Peggy Guggenheim’s gallery, Art of this Century.

LewAllen Galleries

2018-2019 Heroines at the Helm

The Whaling Museum & Education Center, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

Esphyr Slobodkina’s work entitled Self Portrait (1960) and seven other works by were included in the show which explored the impact of women who broke social bounds to affect change in a male-defined world as reflected in the arts spanning 19th century whaling wives to 20th century and contemporary female artists.

To represent the 20th century, female artists were chosen based on their artistic merit, impact, and struggle to be recognized as part of the artistic canon while simultaneously shaping the discipline. Heroines at the Helm illuminated the experiences of women who have been invisible in the traditional narrative of American culture within the realms of art and history, yet found ways to forge ahead despite marginalization.

Reflecting these challenges as seen through art the exhibition served as a model for the field of maritime museums, whose exhibits typically center on historically male-dominated industries and experiences.

2016-2017 Caps for Sale & Other Great Tales: The History of a Storybook and its Maker

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary celebration of Caps for Sale, the Slobodkina Foundation presented a travelling exhibition which coincided with the release of More Caps for Sale, the first monkey sequel to the classic tale, the release of a third story, Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys, and the debut of Caps for Sale: The Musical, which originated from The Adventure Theatre in Washington D.C. and The New Victory Theater in New York City.

Curated by the Slobodkina Foundation, Caps for Sale & Other Great Tales: The Art & History of a Storybook and its Maker was the first exhibition to focus on Slobodkina’s work as an author and illustrator and her abstract influences on the American children’s book. It presented the fascinating story behind the making of Caps for Sale and other Slobodkina books, which were illustrated using collage techniques.

This exhibition included 74 paintings, collage, illustrations, assemblages, and textiles, as well as twenty-six children’s books. The exhibition augmented with live presentations and performances, audio-visual displays, and hands-on workshops received the Florida State award for best programming of 2016.

Installation of Slobodkina Exhibition at North Miami Public Library