Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

Looking Backwards (In A Classical Tradition)

Looking Backwards (In A Classical Tradition)

Year: 1982
Type: Painting

Catalog #: SF_0015

Current Location:
Museum of Fine Arts,

Exhibition History:

Hallandale Library, Nov 1-30, 1982.

“In Celebration of Age: Twentieth Century Artists in Their Seventies and Eighties,” New World Center Campus, Miami-Dade Communty College, March 8-April 16, 1982.

Esphyr Slobodkina: An Introspective, Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, February 16-March 18, 1984

Dimensions:
47 x 48

Signature / Artist Notation:
Recto: Esphyr Slobodkina 1982

In her memoirs “Notes for A biographer” Slobodkina writes of the mental challenges she faced during the years 1971-1981. During this period a number of people with whom Slobodkina shared years of friendship passed, all quite suddenly. Fellow artist and friend Alice Mason (d-1971); fellow artist and friend Charles Shaw (d-1974); her sister’s husband Eugene Schildkraut (d-1974); fellow artist and friend George L.K. Morris (d-1975) with whom she had a secret crush for years (see Notes for a Biographer Vol 3B chapter 104); and shockingly, her close friend and ex-husband Ilya Bolotowsky (d-1981) who died suddenly in a tragic accident.
Of note, many of Slobodkina’s paintings created in between ’74 and ’81 were of somber titles and tones, dark browns, blues, and grays.

Slobodkina relocated from Great Neck NY to Florida, with her mother, to be near her grieving sister in 1982. Inspiration for this work came from the cool, soft Mediterranean colors which began to lift her spirits and inspired this work. Perhaps they signify an emergence from grief. The colors of the work suggest a time when looking backwards became less painful for Slobodkina.