B. 1927, New York. D. 2016, Chicago.
After Chicago-based painter Evelyn Statsinger died in 2016, her artwork was disbursed to museums and into a trust. Four years later, her private foundation has been established, and Richard Gray Gallery is able to show her lush, dynamic canvases. In the special Chicago Tribute section of Frieze New York’s online edition in May, the gallery mounted a presentation of Statsinger’s work, where verdant green hues and hints of nature prevailed. Several paintings, which ranged in price from $30,000 to $50,000, sold to collectors in Chicago and New York, while inquiries flooded in from around the world. Richard Gray partner Valerie Carberry said she thought the works’ “exceptional power and quality translated beautifully.…[Statsinger’s] meticulous craft, inventive color palette, and imaginative abstract compositions came through as a bold, fresh statement.”
Statsinger was a contemporary of Chicago’s Imagist and Monster Roster artist circles. Like many of them, she made Surrealist-informed work full of cartoonish forms that flutter on the border between abstraction and figuration. Forest Gift (1987), for example, features the titular greenery, while the bold orange disc at the center remains too strange to pin down. Perhaps it’s an eye—but then what are the red squiggles snaking out of it? Statsinger’s art, on the whole, evokes such uncanny questions and responses. Over the next few years, it’ll be a joy to learn more about her practice, as the foundation’s work unfolds.