Anna Walinska's life and
body of work feels adventurous
because it's so diverse.
Ms. Walinska's who would be
111 years old today, came to my
attention through an announcement for an
all female graffiti show currently
running in New York at Pen and Brush
“Graffiti Summer Vacation,”
I'm not typically drawn to
graffiti art but this article caught
my eye as it was all woman artists.
"Patriarch" 1960 Collage on paper
Little did I know that Anna Walinska
born in 1906 was an artist during the Modern
period and not a living contemporary.
I wasn't quite sure how that fit with the
graffiti theme because I expected to read
about a group of living contemporary
"Two Women" Pastel on paper
In looking at some of her work and
reading about her life I can
see why she would be included. Her
work is bold and emotional, like
graffiti art and it speaks to me about
human condition and experience.
At the age of 12 Walinska was studying
at the Art Students League in NY after
coming up with a way to pay the fee
to do that. By 19 she was off
living in Paris and was influenced
by both Matisse and Picasso who were
just emerging in their own right.
At 49 she decided to journey
around the world by herself spending
four months in Burma where she came across
Shan paper used in the collage featured
at the top.
Somewhere in between all that,
she founded The Guild Art Gallery in NY
and served as Assistant Creative Director
of the Contemporary Art Pavilion
at the New York World's Fair among
other accomplishments and contributions.
It's a rich history and there's so much
more to reveal but I will leave that up
to your level of interest. Ms. Walinska's
body of work includes over 2000 pieces,
many of which can be seen in the collections
of museums around the world.
Maybe I'll try to stop in at Pen and Brush!