Rudy Burckhardt

Subterranean Monuments: A Centenary Celebration

November 29, 2014 – January 17, 2015

Untitled (Bird's Eye)
1945
Gelatin-silver print
11 x 9 inches

Purple Band
1964
oil on board
9 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches

Still Life (Ruppert & Raleigh)
nd
oil on board
11 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches

Sir Walter Raleigh
1945
gelatin-silver print
9 7/8 x 11 5/8 inches

Anarchitecture
c.1947
gelatin-silver print
9 1/8 x 10 1/2 inches

Seventeenth Floor
c.1947
gelatin-silver print
9 1/8 x 10 1/2 inches
Private Collection

Flat Iron Building, Winter
1947/48 (vintage)
gelatin-silver print
7 1/4 x 8 1/8 inches

38th Street South
1987
oil on linen
38 x 32 inches

Broadway and Union Square
c.1947
gelatin-silver print
12 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches

Crossing
1948
gelatin-silver print
9 x 6 inches

Times Building
1947
gelatin-silver print
9 3/4 x 7 3/8 inches

Venus of Cyrene
1952
oil on linen
16 x 19 inches

Snail and Can Opener
1950
gelatin-silver print
7 x 8 inches

Willem de Kooning Studio I
1950
gelatin-silver print
7 x 8 inches

Marlboro
1970
oil on linen
20 x 29 inches

Curb
1970
gelatin-silver print
12 7/8 x 9 3/4 inches

Sixth Avenue
1977
oil on linen
34 x 24 inches

Ant
1996
oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches

Untitled, Maine (Moss on Birch Tree)
nd
gelatin-silver print
9 x 7 inches

Birch I
1992
gelatin-silver print
11 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches

Autumn
1997
oil on linen
12 x 16 inches

Maine (Ferns)
1955
gelatin-silver print
10 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches

Bark III
1997
oil on linen
18 x 14 inches

Lichen Tree
1996
oil on linen
20 x 27 1/2 inches

Pine
1993
gelatin-silver print
12 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches

Daisies, Deer Isle, Maine
1955 (vintage)
gelatin-silver print
7 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches

Untitled (Tree Trunk)
nd
gelatin-silver print
12 x 8 inches

Maine Woods II
1995
gelatin-silver print
8 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches

Lichen and Bark
1996
oil on canvas
12 x 14 inches

Untitled (Searsmont, Maine)
1999
gelatin-silver print
10 x 8 inches

Untitled (Woodscape)
nd
oil on mushroom
9 1/2 x 11 x 3 1/2 inches

Smoke and Windows
c.1962
oil on linen
32 x 45 inches

Factory Building I
1979
gelatin-silver print
12 7/8 x 9 1/8 inches

Chelseascape III, New York
c.1947
gelatin-silver print mounted on board
10 5/8 x 13 3/8 nches

Candy Store
c.1939
gelatin-silver print
11 7/8 x 9 1/8 inches

To Refresh
c.1939
gelatin-silver print
9 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches

Haircut Shave
c.1939
gelatin-silver print
8 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches

Old Gold
c.1939
gelatin-silver print
10 1/2 x 12 7/8 inches

Mussolini
c.1939
gelatin-silver print
10 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches

Press Release

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to celebrate Rudy Burckhardt’s centenary with a survey of his photographs, paintings, and a selection of his films. There will also be vitrines with his collages, his early photographic albums, and sketches. In addition, exhibited for the first time will be a group of his otherworldly painted mushrooms.

The show marks the first time the gallery has exhibited the artist’s photographs and paintings side-by-side. It was a regular practice for Burckhardt to leave the house with his still camera around his neck and his film camera at his side. He would find images as he wandered the streets of the city and take still photographs and record the scene with film. Burckhardt noted that what he loved about New York is that ”…It just grew up wildly. Everyone tried to make a bigger building than the guy before him, there was no design, it just happened.”

The exhibition will present his works in groupings of his modestly-scaled paintings and their related photographs; in many cases the images are almost identical. Burckhardt once noted that with photography, one can capture a moment with one click of the shutter. He liked painting in part because it was slow. His paintings were closely observed, highly detailed and took time.

Later in his life, as painting became a larger part of his output, particularly with his late Mainescapes, he would take his camera and his paint box into the woods. He took pictures, shot films, and painted images of tree trunks, the fronds of ferns growing out of their central stalk, and the tangle of trees decomposing on the ground. In his final decade, he painted many close-up views of the bark on birch and maple trees, with the gray and silvery lichen set off by the warm browns and grays.

Burckhardt arrived in New York from his native Basel in 1935. Burckhardt’s sixty-year career spanned generations and witnessed the rise of Abstract Expressionism and the New York School. An influential presence in the New York cultural scene, Burckhardt counted among his friends artists Willem de Kooning, Alex Katz, and Red Grooms, among many others.

Burckhardt’s photographs have been the subject of a 2002 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and a 2008 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Last year an exhibition of his New York and Maine images was presented at the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria. An exhibition of his photographs and films just opened at the Fotostiftung Schweiz in Winterthur, Switzerland, not far from Basel where he was born in 1914.

A selection of the artist’s early and later films with be screened on a loop in the project room along with a documentary, Man in the Woods: The Art of Rudy Burckhardt from 2003.