Larry Day, Mrs. Myers

Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Gift of the Gladys Myers Estate, 2020
46 x 42 ¼ in.

Gallery owner Gladys Myers looks outward with a pensive expression. Seated on a stool, she holds her folded hands calmly in her lap. For Day, portraits were not about likeness, but rather about creating a work that emerges from the dialogue between artist and model. Here, he orchestrates a dynamic syncopation of shapes and objects that seem to recede or come forward to the left or right of the figure. The composition is anchored by Myers’s easy dominance of the central vertical axis of the painting.

Myers was an important figure in Day’s career. She was founder and director of Gallery 1015, which was located in her home at 1015 Greenwood Avenue in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. She operated the gallery for almost ten years, from 1958 until 1967, successfully organizing exhibitions and selling works by Day and many of his friends and colleagues. Myers was unafraid to show representational painting at a time when it ran counter to the trends of the art world. This would be important for Day, whose transition from abstraction to figuration occurred over the same period of time.

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Larry Day1950-Present