James Barron Art / Kent is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by self-taught artist, Janet Sobel. Sobel immigrated from Ukraine to New York in 1908 and began painting in 1937, experimenting with mixed materials and drip painting. From 1943 through 1946, Sobel became a powerful presence in the New York art world, exhibiting at the Puma Gallery and at Peggy Guggenheim’s “Art of This Century,” where her recurring method of applying ‘drip’ would later be acknowledged as the beginnings of her transcendence from primitivism through Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism.
In her 2002 New York Times Review, Roberta Smith wrote, “Jackson Pollock may have broken the ice, in Willem de Kooning’s well-known phrase, but Janet Sobel definitely helped crack it.”
“I was always intrigued,” says James Barron, “by MoMA’s placement of a Janet Sobel drip painting beside a Jackson Pollock. Somewhat forgotten, the time is ripe for revisiting Sobel’s work, which defies categorization and continues to fascinate.”
Since Sobel’s 1946 exhibition, there have been only three solo shows of her work. In our current revisionist environment, we are pleased to present prime examples of her work from her formative 1940s period, thereby inviting new understandings of her work.