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Charmion von Wiegand: Spirit & Form, Collages, 1946-1963

September 10 – October 31, 1998

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Press Release

Spirit & Form: Charmion von Wiegand, Collages, 1946-1961 features twenty abstract collages. The collages, literally and spiritually multi-layered, are comprised of various found materials including fragments of text pages, leaves, fabrics and graphic memorabilia. Frequently, von Wiegand recycled her own collages, drawings and paintings and integrated them with found objects.

In her collages, Charmion von Wiegand communicates her profound interest in multiculturalism and different systems of belief by infusing Arabic, Chinese, and English text as well as ancient hieroglyphics and numerology. Early collages are formal and reflect the influence of cubism, while collages of the 1950s are more liberated as the constraints of European modernism diminish and the influence of abstract expressionism appears. Works of the late 1950s and 1960s have a more spiritual content with specific references to Eastern religions, languages, and philosophies.

Charmion von Wiegand, born in 1898 in Chicago and raised in San Francisco, began as a traditional painter in 1926. In 1941, she met Piet Mondrian and they formed a close friendship which led von Wiegand to became a modernist. Mondrian’s spiritual nature and Neo-Plastic aesthetic became

fundamental to von Wiegand’s works of the mid-1940s and, by 1947, she departed from the formal constraints of pure geometric abstraction. Beginning in the 1940s, von Wiegand was an active member of the American Abstract Artists group. She had her first retrospective exhibition in 1973 at the Whitney Museum of American Art and subsequent retrospectives followed in 1982 at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL and 1993 at The Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford. In 1980, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Letters.

Charmion von Wiegand is represented in numerous museum collections including the Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Newark Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Charmion von Wiegand.