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Anne Ryan, Collages

DATES March 13, 1974 through April 21, 1974
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT Contemporary Art
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
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  • April 26, 1974 An exhibition of more than 50 collages by Anne Ryan (1889-1954) will go on view at The Brooklyn Museum March 13. This exhibition will mark the first museum showing of the work of this writer-turned-artist, who made an unique contribution to the medium of collage. The artist’s work will be displayed through April 21.

    Inspired by the collages of Kurt Schwitters, who elevated collage to a major 20th century medium, Anne Ryan produced a complete body of work between 1948 and 1954, the year of her death. Her style was both highly personal and reflective of the most advanced currents of Abstract Painting in New York.

    The earliest collages showed the direct influence of Schwitters, particularly in the use of connotative materials picked up in the course of daily life (i.e., postage stamps, bits of photographic imagery, and printed matter), but she soon abandoned this approach and began to use materials (i.e., Chinese tea papers, rice papers, rag papers and cloth remnants), not connotatively, but purely as elements in a palette — a palette of texture and pattern as well as color. In the collages of 1949 and 1950, there was a greater
    tendency to use very thin, fine or worn materials torn into a variety of irregular shapes suggestive of the gestural painting of Abstract Expressionism. In the more “classic" mode, which predominated around 1952, the shapes tended more toward the verticals, horizontals and diagonals of early Cubism. Indeed, Cubist pictorial space was the most congenial to Anne Ryan’s vision, and once she absorbed it, she remained with it for her entire oeuvre. In the final works done in 1953-54, a new device emerges, using floating, large, dark, irregularly cut shapes over a lighter toned field, which suggested a fusion of Abstract Expressionist and. Cubist elements.

    In all, Anne Ryan’s special gift was for the scale of intimacy, and she used her materials with a discretion and sensitivity that added a deeply personal dimension to the medium of collage.

    An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, which will be shown later at the National Collection of Fine Arts, and subsequently circulated by the American Federation of Ats.

    Located on Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue, The Brooklyn Museum is easily reached by public transportation. There is a 7TH Ave. IRT Station - EASTERN PARKWAY-BROOKLYN MUSEUM located directly in front of the building, and ample parking is available in the rear. Hours; Wed. -Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sun. 11:00 a.m, to 5:00 p.m.; Holidays, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Closed Mon. & Tues. Admission is Free

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1974, 018-19.
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