Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Gertrude Abercrombie 1908/9 -1977



A few years back the Treadway Gallery had another one of their incredible auctions. ITBK and one of our best friends and future contributors, Marcifer, went crazy for 2 paintings by Gertrude Abercrombie. A girl runs from an unknown assailant in the woods, a horse drowns in a flood--the paintings, entitled Flight & Flood were so creepy and so beautiful we were about ready to go into hock in order to possess one. With much regret we did not go into hock but we did, with great difficulty, find out who this amazing painter was: She was most famous for her painting Charlie Parker's favorite painting (AKA Design for Death) which is a stark landscape of a tree, ladder and moon with no sign of human life that is clearly conveying the horror of lynchings. Dizzy Gillespie said that she was "the bop artist...[She] has taken the essence of our music and transported it into another art form." She also was part of the now famous WPA which afforded her a life as a painter in Chicago from 1934 -1940. Because of her use of imagery and symbolism she was often grouped with the Surrealists but Gertrude Abercrombie said this of her art: "I like to paint simple things that are a little strange."

1 comment:

danconnortown said...

yes. very solid stuff. I like charlie's favorite too. But i'm pretty fond of Flight. Reminds me of something. Somewhere.