Interior

Janice Biala

Janice Biala (10/18/1904-09/24/2000) was born with surname of Tworkov, but later changed it to Biala, after the Russian village of her birth, in order to avoid confusion with her brother, Jack Tworkov, a notable artist himself.  Her family emigrated to America in 1913, where she began her study of painting at the National Academy of Design, as well as under the private supervision of Edwin Dickinson.  In her resolve to find a balance between the issues behind early modernist art, and the need to utilize color and form to their fullest capacity, Biala made an early decision to work largely on her own. She incorporated figuration and a more observer-like stance into her work.  Her work is generally describes as simple and well-formed.  Biala uses copious layers of thin paint to create a surface that is smooth in texture, yet deep in content.  Underneath the soft, pastel, shades, viewers usually sense the underlying mysteriousness of the works.  Biala often uses a diptych (two-paneled) format for her larger scale pieces, in order to enhance the feeling of space. She has lived the majority of her life in Paris which her subject matter often reflects.  She resided there for a decade with her first husband, Ford Maddox Ford, the British novelist.  Upon his death in the early 1940's, she returned to New York City, where her works were exhibited on a frequent basis.  In 1947, she entered matrimony once more with  painter Daniel Brustlein. Although Biala participated in four solo exhibitions at the prestigious Stable Gallery throughout the late 1950's and early 1960's, she never felt fully accepted in the generally male-dominated movement of Abstract Expressionism.  She exhibited periodically later on in life in solo and group exhibitions, largely in various galleries of Paris and New York.  In particular, her works were featured on numerous occasions at New York's Greunebaum Gallery. Her works are represented in the permanent collections of such prominent institutions as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the National Museum in Oslo, and the Musee National d'Art Moderne  in Paris.

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