“The WPA” Exhibition

Washburn Gallery

poster for “The WPA” Exhibition
[Image: Burgoyne Diller "Third Theme" (1945) Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 in. Private Collection.]

This event has ended.

The first exhibition to inaugurate the gallery’s new Chelsea space will be ‘The WPA’ (subtitle “Save the NEA”). The Federal Art Project, a New Deal program, of the Works Progress Administration employed more than five thousand American artists between 1935 and 1943. A significant number of these artists later achieved international renown as Abstract Expressionists in the post World War II era. This exhibition brings together works by several of these artists including Philip Guston, Stuart Davis, and Jackson Pollock who were commissioned early in their careers to create public murals.

The gallery will also exhibit Ilya Bolotowsky’s re-creation of the mural commissioned for the Williamsburg Housing Project, 1936. The designs for the Williamsburg Housing Project by pioneering Swiss-American modernist William Lescaze called for the inclusion of modern art. Burgoyne Diller, Head of the NYC Federal Arts Project mural division, handled the commissions including Ilya Bolotowsky’s abstract mural that was installed in a basement meeting room in the late 1930s. Bolotowsky’s 17-foot reconstruction (1980) of this WPA mural will be installed on the 30-foot wall opposite the entrance door at 177 Tenth Avenue with his final study, on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, hung adjacent.

Washburn Gallery would like to take this opportunity to thank the following, whose generous cooperation has made this exhibition possible: Whitney Museum of American Art and Director, Adam D. Weinberg; Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts LLC; Paul Kasmin Gallery; the Estate of David Smith; and other Private Collections.



from September 14, 2017 to October 28, 2017

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