March 22, 1961
Paintings from three periods in the artistic career of Manfred Schwartz will be shown in the one-man Exhibition opening at The Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday, March 22 and continuing in the Museum’s Fifth Floor Contemporary Gallery through May 14.
The artist, who is currently rounding out his first decade of teaching at The Brooklyn Museum Art School, has been a teacher and lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art, New York University and the Skowhegan School of Art. Following his studies at the Art Students League with John Sloan, and at the National Academy of Design, Mr. Schwartz was given his first one-man exhibition at the Lillienfield Galleries in 1940, followed by a series of three exhibitions in the next six years at the Durand-Ruel Galleries. His work is represented in many important permanent collections including The Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Philadelphia Museum, the Newark Museum, the Rochester Museum, the Museum of Tel-Aviv and The Brooklyn Museum.
Commenting on his work in the forthcoming Exhibition, Mr. Schwartz describes the first group as “Modern Baroque”, the group of which, in the artist’s own words, “were based on acrobats and tumblers, particularly over a trampoline. In their development they were stripped of local description such as costume and transformed into the sole essence of flight. Whether figures or birds, they possess the concept of flight and perpetual mobility. In spirit they become a modern baroque.”
Mr. Schwartz describes the second group, which he classifies as “Opulent”, as “works that are born of a devotion to opulence and resonant color. The motives, whether fanciful or experienced, are transformed into an optic pageantry and seen through plastic means, approaching a richness of spirit through fullness of color and through harmonic movement.”
“Knights” is the word-description for his third group in The Brooklyn Museum Exhibition, “this group of paintings and drawings of knights was sparked by an admiration for the shapes of armor; and, at first, these were employed with the devotion with which the Cubists used musical instruments. This interest preceded the mobile, but the Knights are already infused with mobility - in this case, vertical mobility.”
Three works from Schwartz’ earlier period, around 1940, will be exhibited along with the three groups which cover a span of years from 1955 through 1960. Over a period of the years, as Augustus Peck, Supervisor of The Brooklyn Museum Art School writes in the Exhibition’s foreword, “Manfred Schwartz has preferred such subjects as birds, acrobats, people singing and playing musical instruments, people playing games - all forms expressing joy and freshness. This is the spontaneous subject matter and with it Schwartz maintains an aura of play. This is play as creativity.”
The Exhibition of paintings by Mr. Schwartz is the first in a Series to be presented in cooperation with The Brooklyn Museum Art School. Others to follow will be group showings of award-winning faculty and alumni of the School. On the occasion of the private opening of this first Exhibition in the Series, there will be an invitational preview for the press, Museum Members and their guests.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1961, 008-9. View Original