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Announcing "Biala: Vision and Memory" at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum: Exploring Seven Decades of the Artist's Career in Paris and New York

-- This first comprehensive survey features a 1994 interview filmed in the artist’s studio --

FLUSHING, NY, August 26, 2013 A long-overdue retrospective of the artist known as Biala will open at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on Thursday, September 12, 2013. Biala: Vision and Memory is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s career and will feature 50 paintings, collages, and drawings from public and private collections and the Estate of Biala, including two paintings from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum’s permanent collection.

The exhibition will display books by celebrated author Ford Madox Ford for which Biala provided illustrations, as well as personal photographs, exhibition catalogues, and announcements that document her social and artistic circles in New York and Paris. It will also feature the continuous screening of a documentary about the artist, which was filmed in her studio in 1994. A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an essay by its guest curator Diane Kelder, Professor Emerita of Art History at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Janice Biala (1903-2000) was well known for her charming interiors, still-lifes, and landscapes. Her idiosyncratic canvases are informed by her fascinating life in Paris with Madox Ford and her friendships with members of the New York School.  Biala witnessed the eclipse of Paris as the international center of modernism, the rise of Abstract Expressionism, and the dizzying succession of movements that radically transformed the very concept of art during the second half of the 20th century. Through it all, she continued to paint exquisitely crafted canvases in a personal style that, even now, resist classification. Biala: Vision and Memory serves as a captivating introduction to Biala’s life and art.

Biala_San Giorgio Venice_1954 resized.jpg

“In canvas after canvas, she displays remarkable visual intelligence and absolute control of her medium, says Kelder of the artist’s work. “If her paintings offer immense gratification to the eye, they also are reservoirs of feeling and memory, lyric affirmations of the life she chose to lead.” 

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 pm and feature an informal exhibition walk-through by Diane Kelder at 6:00 pm. A series of lectures will follow during September and October at which Dr. Kelder will discuss Biala’s themes and variations; poet and art critic Mary Maxwell will speak about Biala and the Provincetown art colony; Biala Estate curator Jason Andrew will discuss Biala and Ford Madox Ford; and Godwin-Ternbach Museum Director Amy Winter will comment on women artists in the New York School in the post-WWII period. The museum will also screen the BBC film series “Parade's End," based on Ford Madox Ford's novel about WWI, hailed as "possibly the greatest 20th-century novel in English." Dates for all lectures and related programs soon to be confirmed will be available on the museum’s website, noted below.

Museum Hours and Location

The Godwin-Ternbach Museum is located on the campus of Queens College and is easily accessible from Manhattan and Long Island. The museum is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 7:00 pm; and Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is closed on Fridays and during college recesses and holidays.  All exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public. For further information call (718) 997-4747 or visit

About the Godwin-Ternbach Museum
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum is one of eight entities of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. It presents exhibitions and programs that provide significant educational opportunities and aesthetic experiences to residents of the New York City metro area. The museum is the only comprehensive art collection in Queens and houses over 5,000 objects dating from ancient to modern times. The breadth of these holdings and the rich resources of the college allow for presentations that speak to the interests and needs of the diverse audiences that the GTM serves. Lectures, symposia, gallery talks, films, workshops, and an active website complement and interpret the art on view.
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