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Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective 1941-1984: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Press Drawings

Wednesday, February 19, 1986–Saturday, March 22, 1986

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Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective 1941-1984: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Press Drawings is an opportunity for Gallery 400 to exhibit the works of an outstanding artist whose long career centered in Illinois, and who retired from the UIC faculty in 1983 after decades of service. Ginzel, an abstract painter using acrylic pigments and oil, is also a consummate draftsman and printmaker; his “pressed paper” pieces extend his compositional vocabulary of floating planes into the medium of hand-made paper collage.

Ginzel, born in Lincoln, Illinois, has been an inspiring force in the Chicago art world for decades. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute, Ginzel returned to the city after graduate school at Iowa State University and a year’s study in London. Ginzel’s active exhibition record dates back to the 1950s. He first showed at the Art Institute’s Chicago and Vicinity exhibition in 1956 and won prizes at this and subsequent C&Vs. During the 1950s and 60s, Ginzel and his wife Ellen Lanyon were central players in such artists’ organizations as the Hyde Park Art Center. He was chosen as one of 14 artists featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 1976 Abstract Art In Chicago

His large colorful canvases explore a progressive range of problems including the juxtaposition of hard-edged color forms with free-floating painterly planes, systematic stenciling and surrealism crossed with abstraction.

The Gallery 400 exhibition presented an evolutionary picture of Ginzel’ s oeuvre beginning with the 1950s. His drawings and paintings – highlighting expressionistic draftsmanship – occasionally reveal similarities in palette and subject matter to Leon Golub’s humanistic works of the same decade. In the 1960s, Ginzel settled into the abstract idiom that has become his signature. His large colorful canvases explore a progressive range of problems including the juxtaposition of hard-edged color forms with free-floating painterly planes, systematic stenciling and surrealism crossed with abstraction. Recently Ginzel’s paintings have waxed lyrical – becoming active fields of color and brushwork.

Ginzel’s dedication to abstraction made him “a somewhat isolated figure” for much of his career. Critics have commented on Ginzel’s greater affinities with the New York School. The exhibition and catalogue re-evaluated this generalization. Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective was an important part of the recent re-consideration of abstraction in Chicago art. The exhibition was comprised of over forty works including major paintings from all periods and smaller works on paper. Ginzel, an active consultant to the exhibition organizers, lent many previously unexhibited works to Gallery 400. Major corporations, including Kemoer Insurance and the Continental Bank, and private owners also lent works. 

This exhibition was accompanied by a 20-page catalogue illustrated with black and white photographs and 2-4 color plates, an essay by Laurel Bradley and a short “Appreciation” by Dan Ramirez, associate professor of art at UIC. A lecture on Ginzel and his work by Chicago art critic Dennis Adrian also complemented the show.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective 1941-1984: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Press Drawings is supported by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design’s College of Architecture, Art and Urban Planning.

This exhibition is also supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the U.I.C. Student Student Activities Funding Committee.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Bonesteel, Michael. “Roland Ginzel at Gallery 400 and Dart.” Art in America, October 1985, p. 171.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard: Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective 1941-1984: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Press Drawings

Postcard: Roland Ginzel, Opening Reception and Lecture

Roland Ginzel
A Retrospective 1941-1984: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Press Drawings

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
February 19–March 22, 1986

Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 19, 1986, 5 pm
Critic Lecture by Dennis Adrian: Wednesday, February 19, 1986, 4 pm

Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective 1941-1984: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Press Drawings will be on display at Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) February 19 through March 22.

The exhibition will feature over 35 works by leading abstract painter Roland Ginzel, a member of the UIC faculty from 1954 until his retirement in 1983. The Gallery 400 retrospective will feature Ginzel’ s expressionistic drawings and paintings of the 50’s the abstract paintings that became his signature; prints; press drawings, as well as recent paintings described as “active fields of color and brush work.”

On Wednesday, February 19 at 4 pm, Chicago art critic Dennis Adrian will present a lecture on Ginzel and his work in room 3290 of Alumni Hall, 400 S. Peoria. An opening reception for the show will follow at 5 pm in the gallery.

According to Laurel Bradley, director of Gallery 400, Ginzel’s 1950′ s drawings and paintings, “highlight expressionistic draftsmanship and occasionally bear affinities in palette and subject matter with Leon Golub ’s humanistic works of the same decade. In the 1960’s, his large, colorful canvases explore a progressive range of problems including the juxtaposition of hard-edged color forms free-floating painterly planes, systemic stenciling and surrealism crossed with abstraction. Ginzel, who is also a consummate draftsman and printmaker, uses his ‘pressed paper’ pieces to extend his compositional vocabulary of floating planes into the medium of handmade paper collage.”

Ginzel’s active exhibition record dates back to the 1950’s. One of his first shows was the Chicago and Vicinity exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1956. In 1976 he was one of 14 artists featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art show Abstract Art in Chicago. Ginzel’s works on paper and canvas have been showcased in international exhibitions including the 1975 Whitney Biennial and the artist’s paintings, drawings and prints can be found in major museums as well as in corporate and private collections.

Roland Ginzel, A Retrospective will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Gallery 400 director Laurel Bradley and a short “Appreciation” by Dan Ramirez, associate professor of art at UIC.

Roland Ginzel: A Retrospective 1941-1984

Essays by Laurel Bradley and Dan Ramirez
Gallery 400, School of Art and Design,
University of Illinois at Chicago, 1986
30 pp., 8.5 x 11 in., with color and
black and white reproductions

This catalogue can be purchased for $XX.00 plus shipping by calling Gallery 400 at 312 996 6114.

Roland Ginzel Head ShotRoland Ginzel (born 1921 in Lincoln, Illinois) is one of the pioneering Abstractionists in Chicagoland area. He first showed his work at the Art Institute’s Chicago and Vicinity exhibition in 1956 and won prizes at this, and subsequent C&V shows. His work has been featured in many exhibitions since the 1950s; most impressively, in major national and international exhibitions, including the 1976 Whitney Biennial. Ginzel’s work is part of the collections of several museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Brooklyn Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art and the National Museum of American Art. He was also honored to receive the1962 Fulbright Award for his study at the Academia de Belle Arti, Rome. Until his retirement in 1985, Ginzel taught Painting at the University of Illinois at Chicago for over thirty-four years. Upon returning from service in the United States Coast Guard during WWII, Ginzel received a B.F.A. in 1948 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1950.

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

Roland Ginzel

Still Life (Roland Ginzel’s first painting),1941
Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in.

Allemande, 1946
Egg tempera on panel, 10 x 8 in.

Face and Flower, 1948
Woodcut, 8 1/2 x 12 3/4 in.

Insect, 1950
Color intaglio, 13 1/3 x 20 in.

May 7, 1952
Watercolor and metallic pigment on paper, 18 3/4 x 24 3/4 in.

Untitled, 1950s
Mixed media collage, 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.

May 26, 1955
Paper intaglio, 23 3/4 x 29 1/4 in.

March 10, 1955
Oil and laquer on hardboard panel, 41 1/2 x 48 in.

Untitled, 1956
Mixed media collage on oiled brown paper, 18 x 24 in.

Untitled (portrait head), 1957
Ink on paper, 13 3/4 x 24 3/4 in.

Untitled (portrait head), 1957
Ink on paper, 18 3/4 x 24 in.

Conversation II, 1963
Craypas, graphite, charcoal on vellum, 19 x 23 3/4 in.

Claes Oldenburg, 1961
Pencil, wash, crayons, charcoal on paper, 26 x 19 in.

Untitled, 1962
Oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 39 3/4 in.

Double Portrait of Non-Existent People, 1963
Oil on canvas, 33 x 38 1/2 in.

Imaginary Portrait, 1963
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32 1/2 in.

Billboardscape III, 1963
Oil on canvas, 58 x 58 in.

Untitled, 1965
Charcoal, craypas and solvent on paper, 25 1/2 x 20 in.

Manscape, 1965
Oil, crayon and pencil on canvas, 58 x 56 in.

Untitled, 1966
Collograph- monoprint, 24 1/8 x 21 in.

Bird Scape, 1967-68
Litho crayon and solvent on paper, 27 1/2 x 20 in.

Bird Scape, 1968
Acrylic on canvas, 43 x 43 in.

Squarescape, 1968
Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 in.

Untitled, 1968-69
Acrylic on canvas, 27 x 31 in.

Homage, Too, 1973
Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 69 1/2 in.

Study for Homage, Too: Two, 1973
Charcoal on paper, 47 1/2 x 47 1/2 in.

Desbarats No. 2, 1973
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 56 x 92 in.

Untitled, 1976
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 53 x 62 in.

Ryco’s Roost, 1976
Acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 27 x 28 in.

Desbarats No. 15, 1977
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 68 x 76 in.

Untitled, 1978
Charcoal on paper, 22 x 30 1/4 in.

Untitled, (“Think Pink”), 1979
Mixed media on canvas, 46 x 26 in.

Untitled, 1980
Ten press drawings, each 15 x 14 3/4 in.

Untitled, 1981
Four press drawings, 30 x 22 1/4 in.

Untitled, 1981
Acrylic on canvas, 46 x 69 in.

Untitled, 1982
Two press drawings, each 30 x 22 in.

Untitled, 1982-83
Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 in.

Untitled, 1982-83
Oil pastel on paper, 30 x 44 in.

Untitled, 1982-83
Acrylic on glass, diptych, 17 x 28 in.

Untitled, 1984
Acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 in.

Untitled, 1984
Acrylic on paper, 31 x 22 in.