Thursday, March 15, 2007
Herman 'Ray' Davis, Maurice Grossman, Tatyana Grossman and Universal Limited Art Editions
Herman 'Ray' Davis is exhibiting at a coffee shop in Saratoga... these are striking... I was drawn to them immediately...
The artist celebrated his one hundredth birthday on Monday, and most of the work in the show is from fifty+ years ago. He started painting in the army, then became a dentist, and at some point befriended an artist named Maurice Grossman. Grossman gave Davis painting lessons... the woman in the two kitchen pictures is Grossman's wife, Tanya, painted in 1952.
Tanya Grossman is maybe better known as Tatyana Grossman... the woman who started the printmaking business which became known as Universal Limited Art Editions. Her impact can't be overstimated... this is the woman who convinced artists like Rivers, Johns, Rauschenberg, Hartigan, Dine, Frankenthaler, Newman to come to her Long Island workshop and try making prints... the whole artform of contemporary printmaking is indebted to her, if not the entire artmarket for legitimizing the concept of editions.
These Davis paintings, both called Tanya's Kitchen, were made a few years before Maurice had the heart attack which prompted Tanya to start her business. Ray later recieved artist proofs in exchange for dental work.
RIGHT NOW at MoMA - Artistic Collaborations: 50 Years at Universal Limited Art Editions. Here is the NYTimes review.
This one is called Mother and Son, from 1948. I would have posted these paintings regardless of the interesting Tatyana Grossman story.