Andrew Edlin Gallery is pleased to present Unseen, Unknown, Unsung, an exhibition of orphaned paintings found over the last 12 years in the outer reaches of New York and New Jersey by collector Herbert Danska. Show dates are April 8 - May 3, 2003.
Danska, an award-winning filmmaker and artist, is also known for having discovered the wood carvings of Albert Hoffman on the boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1989, which led to the introduction of his work at the inaugural exhibition of Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum in 1996, and has since been featured at the Luise Ross Gallery in New York City. Hoffman’s sculptures and reliefs have been taken into the permanent collections of the American Folk Art Museum and the Abby AldrichRockefeller Museum of Folk Art, among others.
Spurred on by his affinity for Hoffman’s art, Danska soon discovered the world of country auctions and fairs and developed a special interest in the art of the self-taught. A combination of intuition and his artist training led to some remarkable finds including two important paintings which were later authenticated as original works by Reginald Marsh and Thomas Hart Benton.
The exhibition at Andrew Edlin Gallery will consist largely of paintings by unknown artists. John Shust was a Ukrainian immigrant who lived in a shed on a property outside of Fleischmanns, New York. Arriving in the early 1940’s Shust went into town some weekends to sell small paintings at the market. Danska found three of his paintings at a local antiques center in 1995. One is of a panorama of the Takansee Hotel, a well-known turn of the century area resort. Another is thought to depict the art decco lobby of a building at the 1939 World’s Fair.
Two paintings by Theodore Haupt (1902-1990) are also part of the collection. Haupt illustrated 45 covers for New Yorker Magazine from 1927-1933 and had dealers in New York including Duveen-Graham in the 1950’s. These works (one of a crowded subway car -the other of two milliners at work) display a colorful, active cubist style with a satirical bent, and are unique examples of Modernist painting.