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Burgoyne Diller: Twenty-Five on Paper

September 10 – November 5, 2005

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The New York Observer, September 26, 2005

by Mario Naves

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Press Release

One of seventeen 57th Street galleries celebrating the 130th anniversary of the Art Students League of New York, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery presents their sixth solo exhibition of League student Burgoyne Diller. Twenty-Five on Paper will include 25 stellar drawings completed over four decades, offering a survey of Diller’s universal language.

Burgoyne Diller (American, 1906-1965) articulated his profound experience as a student at the Art Students League of New York when he stated, “I never went to Europe. I went to the Art Students League.” Known for his hard-edge, geometric abstractions in primary colors, Diller’s work evolved in his four years (1929-1933) at the League from semi-abstractions to pure abstractions – from situating things in recognizable spatial situations to eliminating perspectival devices for simple overlappings and the optical phenomena of color. For Diller, the League experience was vital; it transformed his artistic vision.

In January 1929, Diller moved from Buffalo, New York to New York City and enrolled at the League, taking a life class for one month with George Brant Bridgman, author of the book Constructive Anatomy which he read and admired in 1925, four years prior to his League admission. The following month, he enrolled in a life class with Boardman Robinson and in June, began his scholarship job in the League bookstore; he was supported by this scholarship through 1933. His next two classes were taught by Kimon Nicolaides and William von Schlegell. In September of 1929, Diller began studying with Jan Matulka, a teacher that he continuously studied with through the spring of 1931. Through his instruction and personal friendship with Matulka, Diller evolved as a modernist, alongside fellow students David Smith, Irene Rice Pereira and Dorothy Dehner. Over the years, he also studied lithography with Charles Locke and A.S. Baylinson and life drawing with George Grosz and Hans Hofmann. Diller left the League in 1933.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Burgoyne Diller.

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