Apr 18 - May 5, 1934
cover image: Mlle. Andree
by A.D. Gruskin
Ary Stillman, born in Russia, citizen of Iowa,
New York and Chicago art student, and resident of Paris and other
art centers in Europe, after almost continued absence the past
twelve years, returns to New York. He brings with him a group
of canvases, the mature result of these years of learning and
experimenting in various lands. And he returns with an extremely
personal style of painting. Stillman has evolved a method of
painting in which he literally models his designs out of paint,
just as a sculptor works with clay. Surely and deftly he works
out those low keyed harmonies that are redolent with romantic
charm. This emotional content of his work is the expression of
a true artist emerging from a foundation of persistent enquiry
into the great art of the past. Stillman has diligently studied
the various artistic philosophies that made Paris the focal point
of modern art. He spent months in the little Sienese cathedrals
studying the work of the Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and others.
He made a thorough study of Byzantine Art. Unconsciously adopting
what studied his own temperment especially., Stillman has developed
his method of juxtaposing richly harmonious colors in a splendid
design. This lyric approach and original treatment should bring
Stillman the same recognition in this country that he has already
won in Paris.
"Ary Stillman, well known artist, has just
returned to New York after a sojourn of twelve years in Europe,
and is holding a one-man show at the Midtown Galleries, 559 Fifth
Avenue; this exhibition opened April 18th and will continue through
This is Stillmans first exhibition in New
York since his return from Paris. For most of twelve years he
has been living in Germany, Italy, Palestine, France, and other
parts of the world. He has studied the old masters of Italy and
the new masters of Paris and has evolved an extremely personal
Stillman was born in Russia and at an early age
settled in Iowa where he went into the jewelry business. Paralleling
the great Renaissance artists, he went from his apprenticeship
into the study of painting. This interest took him to New York
where he studied at the National Academy. From the Academy he
went to Europe where he has been for the last twelve years, except
for a trip back to paint the Mexican Indians. This present exhibition
of Stillmans reveals the mature results of his years of
study and work and should bring him the same recognition in this
country that he has won in his many exhibitions in Paris. He
had one-man exhibitions at the Gallerie Zak and at the Gallerie
Bernheim Jeune in Paris and has exhibited in all the important
group shows held there."
The Official Metropolitan Guide
"Stillman has developed a style of singular
sensitiveness and charm. Avoiding alike the sharp edges or heavy
outline so much in evidence in the work around him, he conceives
his volumes in mass and as intimately related to their surroundings.
As he has a feeling for tone and subtly modulated color, his
canvases take on an air of meditative aloofness that invests
even commonplace accessories with a touch of distinction. Whether
dealing with a kitchen interior or a nude, or with one of his
various portraits, he reveals a distinct and alluring personality."
The New York Sun
April 26, 1934
oil on canvas
20 x 24
University of Houston,
Moores School of Music, TX
"Ary Stillman, whose paintings are being exhibited
at the Midtown Gallery, also recalls the French Impressionists.
But only if you can imagine them with a dash of Old Master will
you have Stillman. His work has a charm, a lyricism, a luminosity,
which are most exciting. One piece in particular, Interior,
Kitchen is a marvel of beautiful lighting. His pieces make
use of rich, velvety blacks, glowing blues, poignant greys."
The New York World Telegram
April 21, 1934
He traveled through Spain, Italy
and France, looked at and studied the Primitives, the painters
and tapestry makers of the early Renaissance and the pre-Renaissance
period. From these painters and tapestry makers and from the
Japanese print-makers, he extracted the elements of his own art
and sought with this knowledge to create something which would
have the impress of his own emotions, his own personality
For 12 years he lived, studied and toiled abroad,
until he had achieved an approximation to his goal, which was
to transfer onto canvas the personal vision of Ary Stillman in
the personal technique to which he had struggled, but informed
with the knowledge he had gained from the study of those masters
of the past to whom he had spiritual kinship.
His problems included the problem of making the
colors on the flat canvas suggest depth and contour, so that
the objects would seem to grow out of the canvas. His problems
also included the one of extracting all the wealth and the richness
and the color out of a limited palette, a palette limited entirely
to earth colors."
.I realized as I looked at these
pictures that here was a fresh talent and as I looked I felt
that this Stillman painted as if he had crushed gems into concrete
and put that strange, though solid, mixture on his canvas in
lieu of paint."
Jewish Daily Bulletin
New York City
How One Artist Developed Originality
"...In the catalogue notes, Mr. Stillman says
that he, as so many other artists in Europe, was a 'hero-worshiper'
following in the camp of this artist, who came into prominence
from time ti time. Then tiring of spending his days 'discussing
theories and endeavoring to intellectualize the emotional' along
with other 'camp followers,' he began a thoroughstudy of the
old masters and became particulary interested and impressed by
the 'spiritual force emanates' from the work of the Sienese artists.
'The greatest factor, I found,' says Mr.Stillman, 'which
evolves from continuous close contact with great works of art,
is that our vision is purified. We get to be less conscious of
the vulgarity of things. Even the ugly becomes surrounded by
a certain charm.'
Although he works in a low-keyed palette, the juxtaposition
of his colors is richly harmonious and, as Marcel Sauvage, French
art critic, has pointed out, makes 'one think of tapestries
and precious jewels. The richness of the coloring is quite personel.'"
The Art Digest
May 1, 1934
|In The Studio (Nude and the Artist)
||Portrait of Mrs. C.
|Portrait of Peggy
|Italian Landscape, San Gemignano