William S. Schwartz

American, 1896 - 1977


4053 schwartz 4053
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Information

Symphonic Forms #2, 1932
Oil on canvas
12 x 24 inches (framed 16 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches)

Signed William S. Schwartz lower left; signed and titled on reverse.

#4053

Exhibited:

“Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by William S. Schwartz”, July 25-October 13, 1935, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, #2.

“Impressionism Into Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art”, The Peoria Riverfront Museum, Peoria, IL, October 8th, 2014-January 11, 2015.

William S. Schwartz’s "Symphonic Forms #2" dates from 1932 and is the second of Schwartz's highly important "Symphonic Forms" series inspired from the artist's spiritual interpretations of classical music and poetry. The painting was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago at the acclaimed one-man show dedicated to William Schwartz in 1935. Schwartz completed sixty-six canvases in his "Symphonic Forms" series during the years 1924 to 1967. According to the artist's log book, a document carefully compiled by Schwartz and his wife, Mona, each of these paintings were numbered consecutively and were never shown publicly until Schwartz's 1935 one-man Art Institute exhibition. Classical music was a source of great inspiration for the artist. Indeed, as an accomplished tenor, he was able to support himself while studying at the School of the Art Institute until he became established as a prominent American painter in the 1920s.

"Symphonic Forms #2" was the impetus of an important and prolific year of painting for Schwartz in 1932, as the artist completed at least fifteen other Symphonic Forms compositions that year alone (completing up to "Symphonic Forms #17). Fourteen of these vibrant "Symphonic Forms" paintings formed the basis for his 1935 one man show at the Art Institute. During the show, Time Magazine wrote an article in August, 1935, praising these paintings. "Symphonic Forms #2" exemplifies the skill and fluency in abstract, non-objective painting for which William Schwartz today is highly acclaimed.

  • Schwartz 4053 framed

William S. Schwartz’s emigrated from Smorgen, Russia to New York city at the age of 16. He had already studied at the Vilna Art School from 1908-1912. At the age of 19, he won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. During his Art Institute tenure, Schwartz supported himself as a tenor, singing in vaudeville, radio and operatic venues. Proficient in both figurative and abstract forms of painting, his important "Symphonic Forms” series is among his most notable. The "Symphonic Forms" series was inspired from the artist's spiritual interpretations of classical music and poetry. Fourteen of his first “Symphonic Forms” paintings were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in the acclaimed one-man show dedicated to William Schwartz in 1935. The show was even favorably reviewed by “Time Magazine”. Schwartz completed sixty-six canvases in his "Symphonic Forms" series during the years 1924 to 1967. According to the artist's log book, a document carefully compiled by Schwartz and his wife, Mona, each of these paintings were numbered consecutively and were never shown publicly until Schwartz's 1935 one-man Art Institute exhibition.

His works have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy among others. His works are included in many major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, The Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Tel Aviv Museum and the Library of Congress among others. Schwartz died in Chicago in 1977.

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