Celebrating the Solowey Centennial

Self-portrait in Studio, 1958.
Oil on canvas, 40 x 25"
We celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ben Solowey’s birth this year with special exhibitions that feature paintings and sculptures from almost every stage of his career, with a special emphasis on the work he created in Bucks County from 1936 until his death in 1978. These shows reunite a number of works from museums with pieces from the Studio’s collection, and present a welcome opportunity to see what critics, collectors and fellow artists have admired in his work.

Ben was the rare individual who did exactly what he wanted. He has often been called an "artist's artist" for among his most ardent admirers are fellow artists of various styles and mediums. There is something in Ben’s honest and direct approach to his subject, whether it is a portrait, landscape or still life, that other artists find refreshing. Painter John Foster wrote that Ben "was one of the great artists of our era." New Hope artist George Sotter enjoyed Solowey still lifes, calling one canvas "one of the loveliest we have seen."

His art defies easy categorization. He was never the member of any school of movement of painters. In a 1939 interview he said that Cezanne, Delacroix and the Early Moderns "injected fresh air into painting," and elements of those artists echo through his work. He witnessed the original Impressionist movement in Paris in 1924, two years before Monet died, and while he incorporated the style in his palette, he never defined himself as an Impressionist.

We all want to do something as expertly as Ben handled a paintbrush, a stick of charcoal or sculptors clay. Many of us would be happy to have his talents at crafting frames, cabinetry or even gardening. In 1936 Ben came to Bucks County and established a paradise where he could have time and space to pursue his many interests. The Studio and the farm that surrounds it still stand as testament to his remarkable abilities. Join us over the next year as we celebrate the Solowey centennial.

The Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Celebrates the Solowey Centennial
The Bianco Gallery
3921 Route 202
Buckingham, Pennsylvania
April 14 — May 6, 2000

It is appropriate that we commence the celebration of the Solowey Centennial in the heart of Bucks County, where Ben produced his greatest work, in a show sponsored by the community that surrounded him. At the invitation of Frank Bianco and the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, the Studio has culled a select group of paintings and sculptures that beautifully tell Ben’s story in paint rather than words.

In addition to jewels from the Studio’s collection, this show is augmented by several extraordinary paintings from museums in the area. Still Life Materials, a fascinating study of the elements and influences of Solowey still lifes is coming from The James Michener Art Museum. Two landscapes that predate Ben’s arrival in Bucks County will be loaned from the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Delaware Art Museum, as well as other works from private and public collections. This will be a great show hosted by the premier gallery in the region.

A limited edition poster to commerate this special exhibition will be available from the Studio and the following Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce members.

Travis Gallery
6089 Lower York Road
New Hope, PA 18938

Bianco Gallery

The exhibition opens Friday, April 14th and runs through May 6, 2000.
Hours are 10 to 5, Thursday through Saturday.
For more information and/or directions call 215-348-4235.

Upcoming Solowey Centennial Exhibitions

Ben Solowey: The Modernist Impulse
August 26 - October 8, 2000
Demuth Foundation
Lancaster, PA

Ben Solowey: Portraits and Landscapes
August 24 - October 8, 2000
Arnold Art Gallery, Lebanon Valley College
Annville, PA

Twilight: The Late Work of Ben Solowey
September 17 - October 15, 2000
The Studio of Ben Solowey
Bedminster, PA

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© 2000 The Ben Solowey Collection. All Rights Reserved.