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"Recent Paintings by Ary Stillman" at Guild Art Gallery

March 22-April 3, 1937 , New York

Cover of Guild Art Gallery Exhibition

Press Clippings

"Ary Stillman's fused colors go well with night scenes, such as the new series of New York scenes he is exhibiting at the Guild Art Gallery. "Times Square" and "Outdoor Theatre" show with best success his trend toward crowds and the subtle chiaroscuro of night illumination. The color is darker in these paintings than in the portraits and interiors with the softer, more charming colors he used formerly. But there is still confusion of values. This artist, who looks at life as through a prism, sees only the blurred outlines, and real life escapes him."

Notes and Comment on Art Events in Art,
by Carlyle Burrows
New York Herald Tribune
April 4, 1937

"In the paintings by Ary Stillman now on view at the Guild Gallery the impressionistic style of the artist may be seen in a dozen or more studies of crowds. The swarming effect of a multitude of faces and figures is particularly susceptible to his personal handling of material, and he is plainly fascinated by the patterns that evolve from the moving masses at such focal points in a city as Times Square. In "Theatre Hour" with its converging lines of traffic, crowded streets and palpitating lights he has successfully created his scene, without the definite definition of a single object, except perhaps a lamp post in the foreground. His meaning, however, comes through the misty atmosphere and the scene is alive with atmospheric suggestion…. "Outdoor Theatre at Washington Square," in which the light from the stage strikes the crowd, shows again his favorite subject, and it is a dramatic and sympathetic treatment of the theme."

The Art News
April 3, 1937

"Ary Stillman, exhibiting at the Guild Gallery, 37 West 57th Street, has taken a new turn in his work. The cool flicker of his earlier studio interiors, inhabited by romantic and unsubstantial women, has given way to the quick pulse and insistent rhythms of New York crowds. Everything is blurred and and off focus and vibrant with the inexhaustible complexity of the city's night life.

"Theatre Hour" dazzles with the flash of city lights, while the dark moving crowd acts as a foil; "Sleety Night," loaned by the Federal Art Project, is a harmony of iridescent tonalities; "Side Show at Coney Island" is the strongest thing in the show, to my mind, because there is humanity here and a vigorous design.

Essentially, Stillman loves the play of light and the shimmer of surface texture almost to the point of impressionism. The distinctions he draws is one of selection; harmonies are restricted and refined and set in motion. Movement and surface shimmer are all very well, but profound artists go below the surface."

Art, by Jacob Kainen
Daily Worker, New York
March 31, 1937

"Ary Stillman, who is having a showing at the Guild, 37 West 57th Street, derives largely of course from the last century. His "Flowers" for example is suggestive of the poetical approach of Redon, but in the main his work is keyed to a subdued impressionism – subdued in color, but still primarily concerned with effects of light and atmosphere, not that design in the larger sense is overlooked. But whatever his theme, he lends the guiding hand of suggestion to the imagination, which gives his work a generally charming and personal appeal. "Theater Hour" at Broadway’s liveliest stretch; "The Bowery at Coney Island" to mention but one of his glamorous versions of that rather rowdy and garish resort, seem particularly pleasing. You get the distilled essence of it all without its vulgar reality, which last calls for sturdy stomachs indeed."

The New York Sun
March 27, 1937

"This years exhibit of paintings by Ary Stillman at the Guild Art Gallery shows a further preoccupation with the teeming life of the city’s amusement seekers. Mr. Stillman does not emphasize the blare of color that surrounds the crowds on Broadway or at Coney Island. He is absorbed rather in rendering the pulse-bat of the whole moving human spectacle. He does this by keeping the whole canvas in a virtual monotone state, within which he observes the most subtle distinctions in atmosphere and movement."

The New York Post
March 27, 1937

Exhibited Artwork Titles:

Broadway at Night, Times Square, "Side Show" at Coney Island, "Boweryat" at Coney Island, "Fireworks" at Coney Island, Outdoor Theatre at Washington Square, The Bathers, In Transit, Coney Island At Night, Bathing Scene, At My Window, Forty-second Street, Sleety Night, Under the'El, "Virginia Reel" at Coney Island, Theatre Hour.

Coney Island, Fireworks
Coney Island,

oil on canvas,
[Museum Collection]
Coney Island, Side Show
Coney Island,
Side Show

oil on canvas,
24 x 30 in.,
[Museum Collection]


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Ary Stillman: From Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism

From Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism Edited by James Wechsler Foreword by Donald Kuspit


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