Feb 18 - March 9, 1946
"Beauty of Color. Ary Stillman, who came to this country
from Russia as a youth and recrossed the Atlantic to live for
many years in Paris, has like many another creative artist, run
through almost all the phases of artistic expression. Academy
trained, he did his share of realistic landscapes and portraits
which soon took on poetic overtones and was even
interested in the primitive for a time.
To those who have watched his work for the last
few years, his current exhibition at Macbeth will come as no particular
shock, even though it is his first completely abstract show. Little
by little, recognizable forms have given way to compositions constructed
primarily of color. And what color! It sings, dances and broods
by turns. It is laid on canvas tone on tone, hue on hue, integrated
to build from and weight, space and perspective, and varied by
texture. Stillman says that subject matter always interfered with
this, and he is much happier with what he calls "intuitive"
as against "conscious painting."
These new canvases bear in a direct relation to
music and might appropriately be called tone poems. A number of
them are on Indian themes, including the large "Indian Legend,"
with shimmering water suggested in the foreground, moving back
and around, but always within the picture frame; and "Land
of Poco Tempo," which hints of firelight and great butterflies.
The eye dances about gaily in the bright "Frivolity,"
comes to rest in its opposite number, "Solitude." Variety
of textures, superb color and a particularly coherent design in
depth mark the composition titled "Shafts."
One could go on, but these paintings, so sensuous
in surface quality and rich pigment, have to be seen to be appreciated."
The Art Digest
February 15, 1946
"Ary Stillman is the first abstract painter
to have a one-man show at the Macbeth Gallery, and the event is
a propitious one in every way. There is nothing strident or brash
or coldly geometrical in Stillmans abstracts; quite on the
contrary, they have soft tapestry colors and textures, and a muted
eloquence that invites protracted study. The general effect of
each canvas is that of a thick shower of multi-colored flower
petals; but each painting has its individual theme, the elements
of which give the picture such structure as it has. No black-and-white
reproduction can possibly suggest the original and poetic quality
of these paintings. Go and see them if you can."
Pictures on Exhibit
"Ary Stillmans painting has undergone
a sea change calculated to leave visitors to the Macbeth Gallery
somewhat startled. From the early flaky-surface Impressionism
he has developed a quite individual semi-abstract style dominated
by a new lyric use of color and aiming at suggestion rather than
representation. Paintings on Indian themes remind one of music
as, for example, Sibelius suggests an old tribal war mood
in "Saga." And in "Frivolity," "Coq dOr,"
and "Oriental Fantasy," color is reinforced by occasional
linear or compositional devices to further his purpose."
The New York Times
Sunday, February 24, 1946
| Land of Poco Tempo
oil on canvas
29 3/4 x 23 3/4
Private Collection, TX