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Judy Glantzman, The White Paintings, 1999 – 2001

Betty Cuningham Gallery
541 West 25th Street, 212 242 2772
June 18 - August 7, 2009
Reception: Thursday, June 18, 6 - 8 PM
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Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce its summer exhibition: Judy Glantzman: The White Paintings, 1999 – 2001. The show will be on view from June 18 until August 7 at the gallery’s space at 541 W. 25 Street (between 10 and 11 Avenues). Judy Glantzman will be present for an opening reception on Thursday, June 18 from 6 – 8pm.

The White Paintings, as the artist collectively titles these works dating from 1999 to 2001, began following the death of her father. Glantzman, in a personal statement, writes about these paintings:

After his death, I felt unable to sustain focus on a painting for more than one sitting. Inspired by an exhibition of Ingres paintings at the Metropolitan Museum that year, I wanted to make a beautiful and adult female figure. Out of necessity, I felt I had to leave the studio each day with a fully formed image.

Although Glantzman’s work has characteristically related to the figure and to portraiture, these paintings stand out as being particularly expressive. From the same statement, Glantzman continues:

After my father’s death, I recognized the fleeting quality of our physical selves. In these paintings, the figure is emerging from the white as well as being swallowed back into it. The whole body of the painting is the figure, the paint its skin.

And, she set herself parameters:

Each day I would take a canvas, lather it with white paint, and paint a female figure in a central composition, wet on wet. I did not want to break the intimacy between the figure I was coaxing out of the white and myself. The skeins of thin lines wrapped around and defined her, before the white turned muddy.

I never stepped back while painting. I separated the act of painting from that of looking, liberating the act of painting from self conscious, judgmental thoughts. The work of the day was finished when I felt myself disengage.

On exhibition will be five large “white paintings”, each measuring 90×80 inches, and featuring a single central female figure. In addition the show will include two large pencil drawings, measuring approximately 80×50 inches, also of a single figure.

Judy Glantzman was born in Long Island, NY in 1956 and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1978. She began exhibiting in the early 1980’s in the East Village art scene, at Civilian Warfare and Gracie Mansion, followed by representation by Hirschl & Adler Modern in the 1990’s and at Betty Cuningham Gallery for the past five years. Most recently, she had a 30 year retrospective at Dactyl Foundation in spring 2009.

The artist’s work can be seen in numerous public collections, including the Grey Art Gallery, New York, NY; the Phoenix Art Museum, New York, NY; The Progressive Collection, Cleveland, OH; and the Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, most notably the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 2001; the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Grant, 1997; the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, 1994; and the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, 1992. The artist lives and works in New York, NY.
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