Monthly Archives: November 2009

Eugenie Gershoy

GershoyEugenie Gershoy was born in Russia and was brought to New York City as an infant. By the time Gershoy moved to Woodstock, NY, in 1921 her individual  style was already evident in her sculpture. Gershoy worked in stone, bronze, terracotta, plaster and papier-mache; her sculptures were mainly figurative and extemporized artist peers such as Carl Walters, Raphael and Moses Soyer, William Zorach and Lucille Blanch. From 1942 to 1966 Gershoy lived and painted in San Francisco where she taught at the San Francisco Art Institute. She traveled extensively, filling sketchbooks with scenes of Mexico, France, Spain, Africa and India. During her later years Eugenie Gershoy returned to New York City and concentrated on numerous well received exhibitions.

John Russell, former chief art critic at the New York Times, writes about the 1986 Sid Deutsch gallery exhibition: “As Eugenie Gershoy won the Saint-Gaudens Medal for fine draftsmanship as long ago as 1914 and since 1967 has had 15 papier-mache portrait figures suspended from the ceiling of the lobby of the Hotel Chelsea, she must be ranked as a veteran of the New York scene. Her present exhibition includes not only the high-spirited papier-mache sculptures for which she is best known but a group of small portraits of artists, mostly dating from the 30’s, that is strongly evocative.”

Pictured: Homage to Audrey McMahon, Goddess of Fertility, 1977

Mary Frank

Frank_Three_DancersMary Frank, over the course of her artistic career, has worked in sculpture, painting, drawing, and printmaking. Her work has been collected by nearly every major American museum including The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Frank’s pioneering clay sculpture of the 1970s was especially concerned with the linear interconnections of sculptural fragments and torn edges. Frank often incorporated striated markings and gouges into the clay surface, which was almost always unglazed, allowing the natural textures and colors of the material to be revealed.

Frank has  illustrated and collaborated on several books, including Skies in Blossom: The Mature Poetry of Emily Dickinson; Shadows of Africa, by Peter Matthiessen and Mary Frank; and Desert Quartet, an Erotic Landscape, by Terry Tempest Williams and Mary Frank. She is, and has been for most of her adult life, a committed advocate for social and political change regarding such issues as the environment, AIDS, nuclear disarmament, and human rights, both as an artist and an activist.

Pictured: Three Dancers, 1981

Elisabeth Frink

Frink_riderElisabeth Frink was born in Thurlow, Suffolk, in 1930. One of Britain’s leading sculptors, Frink taught at the Chelsea School of art, and the Royal College of Art. She was awarded many honorary degrees and awards including the CBE in 1969, and in 1982 she was created Dame of the British Empire.

Men, dogs, horses and birds were constant subject-matter throughout Frink’s career. She modelled, cast in plaster and then carved the plaster, to achieve a tougher surface when the plaster was cast in bronze. She rarely worked with the female form: ‘I have focused on the male because to me he is a subtle combination of sensuality and strength with vulnerability,’ Frink is quoted as saying in the catalogue raisonné of her work (Elisabeth Frink: Sculpture, Harpvale, 1984).

Her figures have dignity, mystery and a simplicity of form which place them apart from us: they seem to be focused elsewhere. The animals demonstrate her deep understanding of their state, for she encapsulates their innate and individual characteristics. Frink’s drawing and graphic work followed the same themes, being executed with the economy of means and feeling for surface texture that is to be found in her three-dimensional work. Elisabeth Frink died in 1993.

Pictured: Horse and Rider, bronze, 1974