new-york

Bernarda Bryson Shahn

Midtown Payson Galleries

This well-rounded retrospective of Bernarda Bryson Shahn’s work highlighted the range of her accomplishments, including prints, drawings, illustrations, and paintings. Beginning with Crash, a lithograph from 1929 depicting two buildings in the throes of upheaval, which might be taken as a metaphorical comment on the Depression, the show covered more than six decades of work. Whether Bryson Shahn depicted snippets of contemporary American life or ancient myths, the results were characteristically wry and thought provoking.

For this artist, the worlds of art and literature are as inextricably bound as are her knowledge of history and culture with her social concerns. It was as a correspondent for the Ohio State Journal, for instance, that she came to New York City in 1933 to write about the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and met Ben Shahn, then one of Rivera’s assistants on the controversial

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