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Joyce Treiman: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

October 27 - December 10, 2005


(above: Joyce Treiman, Self portrait, lithograph on paper, 1975, 30 x 22 inches)


The art work of Los Angeles artist Joyce Treiman  (1922-1991) will be on display from October 27th through December 10th, 2005 at the University of Southern  Maine Art Gallery  on the Gorham Campus, 37 College Ave, Gorham, Maine.

Joyce Treiman, who died in 1991, is renowned for her eccentric narratives with humanist themes and her series of incisive self-portraits. Treiman used vibrant color and fluid strokes to  tell humorous and ironic narrative stories which encompass both humor and tragedy. The acclaimed art critic and  author Ted Wolf wrote of Treiman, "Few recent Americans have been as adept as she with both line and color.... she was a fiercely independent, iconoclastic artist of great range and abilities." (left: Joyce Treiman, Horn, Stranger and Ship, oil on wood, 1986, 32 x 26.5 inches)     

Treiman began her avocation as an artist early, taking children's art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago at the age of eight. She later studied under Philip Guston at the University of Iowa, where she earned her BFA in 1943. Treiman's work is included in the collections of many institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County  Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art and the The Metropolitan Museum of Art.          

According to Wolff, true fame eluded Treiman during her life time because her talents were too individualistic and wide ranging to conform to the formal agendas of the critically acclaimed art movements of the time. Treiman disregarded the various modern art movements, preferring the style of the "old masters." She was fond of portraying herself and her family and friends in the company of artists she studied and admired, like Bonnard and Monet.

Treiman created many self-portraits which constitute an autobiographical commentary on where she stood on issues or how she saw herself.  Near the end of her career Treiman was diagnosed with lung cancer and her works shifted focus to reflect a mood of farewell and  departure. Many of the works of that time period included a malevolent male character referred to as "Joker."  The character "Joker," often  representing vanity, death and corruption, is found in a series of works which are focused on themes of mortality, yet are laced with dry humor.

The exhibition at the USM Art Gallery will showcase Treiman's skill in a variety of media, from pastel on paper, to dry point, graphite, hand  colored etchings, oil, pastel, and monotype. In addition to a series of self-portraits the exhibit will also feature several of Treiman's figure studies which demonstrate her drawing mastery, and also her vibrant and luminous landscape paintings. The 36 works on loan from  George Adams Gallery of New York City range in size from miniature studies to large-scale complex compositions.

The exhibit Joyce Treiman: Paintings, Drawings and Prints is free and open to the public.


Exhibition Special Event

Ted Wolff, accomplished author and art critic, will discuss the work of Joyce Treiman from 11 a.m. -1 p.m., Thursday, October 27, 2005 at the USM Art Gallery on the Gorham Campus. People are invited to bring a bag lunch. A professional artist, art appraiser, and former art critic for the Christian Science Monitor, Ted Wolff has written two books on Morris Graves and a biography on Joyce Treiman. He previously lectured at the Maine Coast Artists in Rockport and Portland Museum of Art. Wolf will also hold a Gallery talk October 27 at 6 p.m., during the 4-7 p.m. opening reception for Joyce Treiman: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints at the USM Art Gallery, Gorham campus. (right: Ted Wolff, photo courtesy USM Art Gallery)  


Editor's note

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