“Anna Walinska’s art was always driven by her desire to explore and express,” said Rosina Walinska. “She was daring and adventurous in life, and that was reflected in her work.”
On Saturday, August 15th, Lawrence Fine Art will debut its newest exhibit, “Anna Walinska: Abstractions from the 50s and 60s.” On view at their East Hampton Gallery, the installation, which is part of the Summer of Abstraction, will be on display through Labor Day.
“My aunt was sometimes reluctant to part with her work, but loved selling a painting if she felt that someone was going to give it a good home,” said Rosina. “I think she would be happy that the blonde wood, hand-made frames designed for the paintings in the exhibit are perfect for the Hamptons.”
Born in London in 1906, Anna Walinska moved from New York City to Paris in the 20s to study painting. She founded a gallery on 57th Street during the WPA era, where Walinska gave Arshile Gorky his first NYC one-man show. During the 50s, Walinska set out on a trip to see the world, and documented that six-month exploration in her a diary, which now resides in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. “The black & white palette was a hallmark of her paintings from the 1950’s onward,” said Rosina. “She felt that black and white could have as much personality and depth as any color.” Anna’s documentation from the time includes stories about her adventures with journalist Joseph Alsop, Burmese Prime Minister U Nu, and many other writers, artists and diplomats.
Several pieces featured in this show were on view during Walinska’s lifetime at the Jewish Museum in NYC (1957 one-woman retrospective), as well as the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Museum of Religious Art at St. John the Divine. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to share them with people again, almost 60 years later,” shared Rosina. This exhibition also showcases works inspired by the artist’s extended stay in Burma during 1954 and 1955. “The works inspired by her time in Burma in the mid-fifties are very special,” said Rosina. “She was fascinated by the juxtaposition of East & West, and painted for years under the influence of her experiences there.”
“I grew up hearing her wonderful stories, but had seen only a fraction of her work until I began cataloguing it after she died,” explained Rosina. “It’s been an intense, but very joyous undertaking.”
An opening reception for “Anna Walinska: Abstractions from the 50s and 60s” will be held on Saturday, August 15th from 5 to 8 p.m.
Lawrence Fine Art is located at 37 Newtown Lane in East Hampton. For more information, call 516-547-8965 or visit www.lawrence-fine-arts.com.