Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

Dreams (Collage)

Dreams (Collage)

Year: 1991
Type: Collage

Catalog #: SF_0417

Current Location:
Slobodkina Foundation

Dimensions:
9 1/4 x 20

Signature / Artist Notation:
Signed, dated and notated on front: “Esphyr Slobodkina 1991, ‘Dreams’, o/g 2-panel (48″ x 30 {?}”, 1992/1 (?)” (Also, figures and calculations in lower left-hand corner)

Early on, Esphyr’s work revealed evidence of her talent as an illustrator and storyteller. In Bad Dream, she draws a group of figures surrounded by the twisting body of a dragon. This colorful work featuring mythical creatures and swirling designs shows how active Esphyr’s imagination was, even while she was sleeping. It also displays the artist’s interest in dreams, which she often remembered in vivid detail. Sometimes she painted her dreams hoping that it would help her to unravel their mysteries. The faces of the figures can also be compared to her later drawings of people in her book illustrations. Esphyr’s fondness for expressing a narrative in her work would eventually lead to her career as an author. If awakened during the night, she would sometimes take a minute to sit at her typewrite and make notes. Slobodkina said she dreamt in color and often heard symphonic music in her head.