Exhibition | Madeline Donahue: "Attachments" & Anne Harvey: "Arabesques" | Contemporary Art at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects | New York City | Art Week

Madeline Donahue: "Attachments" & Anne Harvey: "Arabesques"

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019 to Sunday, 6 October 2019
Wednesday, 4 September 2019 - 6:00pm

In our front gallery, SHFAP presents Madeline Donahue: Attachments, a collection of paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the Brooklyn based artist. In our rear gallery, we are showing Anne Harvey: Arabesques, drawings by the American expatriate and painter (1916-1967) who spent the majority of her life in Paris.

Madeline Donahue did not see her perspective of motherhood in art so she created it. Her paintings explore the overwhelming absurdity, intimacy, and joy of caring for another person. She focuses on the surreal quality and physicality of the mother and child relationships. Her work features a maternal figure attempting to perform basic aspects of her day as her child clings to her hair and limbs, nonchalantly playing on her body.

In an interview with Charlotte Jansen of Elephant Magazine, Donahue states, “At a certain point, instead of shaking off parenting in the studio, I just decided to go in and [say], “OK, this happened today, I’m going to draw it.” That turned into this really fun experience of drawing and painting my perception of motherhood.”

Jansen states that “Donahue might not deliberately address the stigma of birth and motherhood in art, but it exists nonetheless. The names she mentions when I ask her which artists she admires who have made art about the subject are familiar: Louise Bourgeois, Alice Neel, Chantal Joffe, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Katherine Bradford, and ‘Marlene Dumas’s baby paintings.’”

Madeline Donahue studied at Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College, CUNY, in Brooklyn, NY in 2018. In 2019, Donahue was part of the Every Woman Biennial, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, in New York, NY. She was in the group show, YARD at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in spring 2019.

Anne Harvey’s parents took her to France when she was still a girl. Her early skills were nurtured by her culturally progressive family. Along with her mother and aunts, she spent the rest of her life in Paris as an expatriate artist. Her family became a part of the artistic milieu of French culture.

Harvey was mentored by Brancusi when she was 18 years old. She painted a major portrait of him, now in the collection of the Pierre and Gaetana Matisse Foundation. Her work made in the early 1930s, when she was just coming into her twenties, shows the influence of early figural Miro, whom she also knew. While discussing Dorothy Dudley’s projected article about his Barnes’s murals, Henri Matisse was asked to look at Anne’s work. He responded by encouraging her towards illustration, praising the element of “fantasie” in her work. Her work was later purchased by Giacometti and Calder, and the day before Marcel Duchamp died, his last correspondence was a note to Anne’s brother Jason, offering to help him find a suitable gallery for an exhibition of her work.

Anne came back to America during World War II with her mother, and after the war immediately returned to France where she worked until she died in 1967. After her death in her studio in 1967, her brother Jason Harvey organized a memorial exhibition at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery in New York City in 1971. In a review of this exhibition for Art News, Lawrence Campbell, who had met Anne in Paris in the sixties, described the dizzying qualities of her line:

In her work one can truly sense what the privacy of the expression “travailler après la nature” can mean to an artist as withdrawn and secretive as she was. The act of trying to draw the grain of a board on the studio floor; her studio was wherever she was, indoors or out, unfailingly triggered imaginative responses. She saw patterns inside other patterns, and these hair-like patterns became quirky fine ink lines or in paintings, paint: meandering, eddying, dissolving, disappearing, then coming into focus elsewhere, as though the wood grain pushed her ever deeper into a world she could see as well as invent at the same time.

This exhibition will present works from across the artist’s career- from her precocious early work done while she was still a girl, through the surprisingly mature works of her late teens, to the increasingly complex art, done before her premature death at age 51 in Paris in 1967.

Anne Harvey’s work was included in both exhibitions of woman artists at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of The Century Gallery, 3 1 W o m e n in 1943 and T h e W o m e n in 1945. She had a memorial show at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery in New York in 1971. Her first one-person show in forty years was held at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in May 2017.

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208 Forsyth Street, New York, NY 10002

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