Werner Drewes: Paintings and Woodcuts - 1930s through 1985
Modernist Women: Views of our Culture
April 5 to June 28, 2008
Opening Reception: April 5, 2 - 5 pm

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A portfolio sampling of Werner Drewes and “Modernist Women” may be viewed at the gallery's Web site,

Werner Drewes (1899-1985), “Reminiscence of Mexico”, 1968, oil on canvas, 27 3/4 x 37 7/8”.

Werner Drewes: Paintings and Woodcuts - 1930s through 1985

Initially an architecture student at the Bauhaus in Germany, WERNER DREWES’ strong modernist roots evolved under the tutelage of teachers that included Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. After travelling extensively in many parts of the world, he emigrated to the United States in 1930.  His focus upon abstraction resulted in his becoming a founding member (together with Josef Albers, Burgoyne Diller, David Smith, Vaclav Vytlacil and others) of the American Abstract Artists group in 1936. This revolutionary group of artists demonstrated for acceptance of abstraction as an art form.
Over next fifty five years - Drewes’ creativity is recorded in his paintings, watercolors, prints in all techniques and collages, as well as  through his teaching at the New Bauhaus in Chicago during the 1930s/40s and then at Washington University in St.Louis from the mid-1940s until retirement in l965. This exhibition proves that retirement did not stop the flow of his art!  
Regardless of medium or technique, Drewes was inspired by his heritage - Expressionism, Bauhaus discipline, inventiveness and structure. Though he used drawings to capture ideas throughout his career, he also, frequently, made dynamic collages that became  'studies' for  subsequent compositions.  Bold figuration, dramatic geometric forms, rhythmic abstractions and brilliant palettes combine to give evidence of a personal aesthetic vocabulary.

Drewes literally died at his easel.  This exhibition spans his illustrious career from 1920s/30s  watercolors Harbor Scene, Frankfurt(1928), Encounter(1939) and woodcuts Harlem Sphinx(1931), Dynamic Rhythm(1934) through 1940s/50s woodcuts(Ancient Warrior(1945), Oppression(1944) to paintings Winter Mummery(1945) and In the Studio(1950).  Vibrant paintings of the next three decades include Reminiscence of Mexico (1968) and Isolated Units(1970).

Werner Drewes’ works in all media are part of museums and private collections throughout the world.


Mary L. Finley Fry (1908-1964), “Suburban Sunrise”, c. 1952, oil on canvas.

Modernist Women: Views of our Culture

Social criticism has long been a theme in shows presented at the Tobey C. Moss Gallery; as examples, works by Max Pollak, Honore Daumier and Rockwell Kent were mounted in the most recent show.
Modernist Women - the women artists featured in this current exhibition -  is no exception to that theme.   
The collages, drawings, prints and paintings by Joyce Treiman, Hannelore Baron, June Wayne and Betye Saar reveal their personal experiences with reflections on social injustice, family relationships, sad romance and societal mores.
Abstraction, as a form, is brilliantly executed by Mary Finley Fry, Luchita Hurtado, Elise Seeds and Claire Falkenstein while tickling humor is depicted in works by Beatrice Wood and Dorr Bothwell.  Helen Lundeberg and Ruth Asawa offer rich views of post-surrealism and forms from nature.
Simultaneously, the beauty of execution, strengths of compositional structure and nostalgic themes surprisingly convert to calls for active responses. Their images reach out to the viewers; these images ‘touch’ the empathetic viewers.  

Digital images are available to request.

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