Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

Composition

Composition

Year: 1940s
Type: Painting

Catalog #: SF_0764

Current Location:
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Exhibition History:

Tufts show, 1992. “Rediscovering Slobodkina: A Pioneer of American Abstraction,” Heckscher Museum, Huntington NY, Dec 2008-Mar 2009,
Samuel P. Harn Art Museum, Gainesville, FL, Jun 16 – Sept 6, 2009;
Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL, Oct 1 – Dec 29, 2009.
Sheldon Museum of Art, Licoln Nebraska, Jan-April 2010.

Dimensions:
12 1/4 x 9 1/4

Two years after winning Slobodkina’s “Composition” (c.1939, Berkshire Museum) in an AAA raffle, AE Gallatin acquired this work.The ornate frame is original, and conjures the tradition of lavish Russian icons (Tufts catalog, p.23). In 1942, Slobodkina participated in a group exhibition at Gallatin’s Museum of Living Art along with 25 other abstract painters. She exhibited “Composition,” which Gallatin supposedly purchased at this time (Ibid). Commenting on this piece, ArtNews critic Rosamund Frost praised Slobodkina for her “extremely personal forms and color sense” (Rosamund Frost, “Abstract,” ArtNews 41 (June-July 1942): 39). The frame was chosen by Slobodkina: “It looks like a Russian icon practically. The colors reflect and…give play to that thing” (Slobodkina interview, March 26, 1991, Tape I, Side II).