new-york

Morris Kantor

Zabriskie Gallery

We seem to be reviving and reappraising the work of many of early American modernists with an almost Bicentennial fervor. The early work of Morris Kantor (1896–1974) makes a fine rediscovery; 28 of his charcoal and pastel drawings and paintings from 1918 to 1924 were exhibited at the Zabriskie Gallery. Kantor came from Russia in 1910, at the age of 14, and supported himself by working in the garment district. In 1916, he had accumulated enough money to enroll in the Independent School of Art, run by Homer Boss. The school’s training eschewed such typical Academy ideals as drawing from plaster casts and encouraged the students to work directly and quickly from the model on large canvases. From 1918 to 1925 he worked independently, but presumably with a thorough (if slightly removed) knowledge of avant-garde movements from such sources as the Armory Show, the Independents’ exhibition of 1917

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