new-york

Isabel Bishop

Midtown-Payson Galleries

While by no means a retrospective, this show of selections from Isabel Bishop’s “The Walking Pictures” (a series of paintings ranging from the ’60s to the ’80s) and of drawings and prints, offered a revealing look at Bishop’s vision of 20th-century New York life. Like her fellow student Reginald Marsh at the Art Students’ League, Bishop was determined to use everyday subjects. And like him, she was also attracted to the bustling street scenes of New York. For her focus she chose Union Square which by the late ’20s, with the construction of the subway, had become not only a main transportation hub but an important commercial shopping district.

A keen observer of appearance and behavior, she nevertheless forged a style that would allow her, as Bishop once put it, “to say something for [herself].” The uniqueness of Bishop’s vision is evident in her portrayals of working women such as Spectators

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