Gandy Brodie: Ten Tenements

May 31 - July 1, 2012

“If I want to feel haunted, there’s the Lower East Side.”

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Ten Tenements, a solo exhibition of Gandy Brodie’s (1925-1975) work based on the Lower East Side. The exhibition includes paintings and works on paper from 1958-1975 of tenement facades, city trees and related imagery – the landscape of Brodie’s youth.

This is the last exhibition that Brodie and his wife, Jocelyn, planned together before his premature death. She wrote in a letter to Meyer Schapiro’s widow Lillian, “Ten Tenements was Gandy’s idea for a show. Remember the mini-show I brought to you and Meyer of Tenement themes…and “The Happy Tenement,” the illustrated poem for children of all ages? …Gandy was a tenement before he became a tree (here in Vermont).”

Although the original intention was to pair Brodie’s representations of the Lower East Side with photographs of the walls and buildings that inspired them, this exhibition instead situates the paintings directly within the neighborhood that occasioned them.

Gandy Brodie was born in a “house on Henry Street”, blocks away from the gallery. Essentially a self taught artist, he was deeply impressed by the work of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Klee, Soutine, and Mondrian, all of whom had an influence on his singular “expressionist” style. Brodie chose not to participate in the shifting trends that dominated the New York art scene, carving an independent path. He focused intensely on what was directly before him, striving to articulate the world as he observed it, “like a dream sequence,” as he once put it.