Walter Wickiser Gallery is proud to announce the exhibition of Ralph L. Wickiser, The Compassion I 1950-1958, from April 3rd to May 10th, 2014.
From 1950 through 1968, the focus of Wickiser’s painting was non-objective and the series that came about were entitled Compassion I (1950-1958), and Compassion II (1959-1968). This was a time when he was very involved with artists such as Barnett Newman, Franz Kline and Philip Guston. Most of the work was inspired by Grunewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece which he often thought was one of the greatest artworks ever made. In the Compassion I paintings he wanted to create a visual feeling of uplifting or resurrection thru the use of square shaped panels and glazes throughout the paintings. This created a juxtaposition of various layers of opposing colors to create a visual effect of seeing thru time and space in an effort to cre¬ate a feeling of rebirth, spring, or the eternal cycle of life. This use of juxtaposition and glazing of abstract forms to create a feeling of the life’s moment would continue in his later work; The Reflected Stream, Early Years 1975-1985, The Reflected Stream, Abstract Years 1985-1998, The Covered Apple Tree 1987-1998 and Shadows On the Grass 1996-1998.
Since the 1930’s, his works have been shown in galleries, universities, and museums throughout America including the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum, the Oakland Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Dayton Museum, the Cincinnati Museum and the Dallas Museum. During his life, he exhibited with artists such as Milton Avery, Ralston Crawford, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock.
Wickiser’s works have been included in A History of American Tonalism 1880-1920 by David Adams Cleveland which won the award of the best art history book in 2012. In addition, his works were recently included in the special exhibition at the Queens Museum entitled Queens International 2013 organized by Meiya Cheng, independent curator and Hitomi Iwasaki, the Museum’s Director of Exhibitions and Curator.