Janice Biala (1903 - 2000)
Provincetown, c. 1950
Oil on canvas
36 x 42 inches
Signed at lower right:: Biala
Born 1903 in the town of Bialystok, Poland Janice Tworkovska immigrated in 1913 with her mother and brother Jack to the Untitled States. Jack Tworkov became a noted second-generation Abstract Expressionist. In her early years she studied with Edwin Dickinson at the National Academy of Design and later at the Art Students League. In 1930 on her first visit to Paris she met and became the partner of the British novelist Ford Madox Ford. Upon Ford’s death in 1939 Biala returned to New York, where she immersed herself in the art scene during World War II. She returned to Paris in 1947 with her husband Daniel ‘Alain’ Brustlein, an acclaimed cartoonist and an accomplished painter in his own right. Throughout her artistic life she developed many acquaintances and friendships with creative leaders such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, Joan Mitchell and Shirley Jaffe.
Biala was a prolific female force whose career spanned most of the 20th century. Her aesthetic is a unique synthesis of early French Modernism and American Abstract Expressionism made manifest by bold brushstrokes combined with a spare, economic domestic intimacy. Her works are semi abstract, painterly, collaged observations of Provincetown, Venice and Paris. The paintings of Janice Biala are a quotidian diary of friends, places and things she was compelled to capture by any means necessary, with any material available at the moment of artistic conception.
Janice Biala’s work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally during her lifetime with seven solo shows at the Stable Gallery and in five Whitney Museum Annuals. Posthumously she has had several shows at and is represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Her works are in private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the Whitney Museum of America Art, New York, The Pittsburgh Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., The National Museum, Oslo, Norway, Musée Cantonal de Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland and Musée National d’Arts Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.