Anna Walinska (American, 1906-1997), Dancers, 1956, oil on paper, 12 x 18 in.

Calligraphy of Line:

The Paintings and Drawings of Anna Walinska

On View Through February 24th, 2023

From 1954-1955, Walinska spent six months traveling across Asia into Europe, sojourning in Burma [now Myanmar] for four of those months. The abstracted works inspired by the artist's time in the country are featured in our current exhibition, highlighting one of the most important experiences that forever impacted her trajectory as an artist. She stayed with her brother while in Burma, who was working as an economic advisor to the Prime Minister, U Nu. This connection afforded her the chance to capture the nation’s leader in a number of portraits. “I lived a full year in those four months,” Walinska said, explaining the impact of her time in Burma. “It was a remarkable experience for me socially as well as culturally. I came back from Rangoon very much enriched. I painted for years under the influence of Burma.”

Anna Walinska (American, 1906-1997), Figures in Landscape, 1956, casein on board, 24 x 18 in.

During her stint in Burma, Walinska taught craftsmen how to construct easels and stretch canvas; local artists showed her the best places to paint en plein air and in exchange she shared her knowledge of the commercial art world. It was here that she was introduced to Burmese Shan paper, a material she adored and subsequently incorporated into her practice. Indeed, while she did travel to many other countries, her experiences in Burma continued to inform her work for many years.

Anna Walinska working outdoors with local Burmese artists

Anna Walinska (American, 1906-1997), Sacrifice of Isaac #1, 1955, ink on paper, 44 ¾ x 20 ¾ in.

Featured in the exhibition, Sacrifice of Isaac #1 was likely executed while she was staying in Burma. It is suspended between figuration and abstraction, and while many of the other Burma pieces lean more towards abstraction, they all retain a sense of representation. Her early studies in Parisian figure drawing classes undoubtedly informed and laid the foundation for these later works.

Anna Walinska (American, 1906–1997), Two Women, 1960, ink on canvas, 14 ½ x 8 in.

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Anna Walinska and Louise Nevelson Friendship Celebration Luncheon and Gallery Tour, January 25, 2023

Hosted by Rosina Rubin and Maria Nevelson, niece and granddaughter of the artists, respectively, as part of:

Calligraphy of Line: The Drawings of Anna Walinska

Extended Exhibition Hours

Monday to Friday: 11am to 6pm

Saturday: 12pm to 5pm


17 East 67th Street, No. 1A

New York, NY 10065