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 Audrey Skaling  (1912 - 2009)

About: Audrey Skaling


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Lived/Active: New York/Connecticut      Known for: painting and sculpture

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BIOGRAPHY for Audrey Skaling

New York/Connecticut

Often Known For
painting and sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Audrey Skaling Papadaki (1912-2009)

A painter and sculptor, she was known professionally simply as Skaling.   Born in British Columbia in 1912, she was educated at the University of Buffalo and the University of Syracuse, in New York, gaining a summa cum laude degree in Fine Arts.  To sustain her early career Skaling painted portraits but her artistic leanings were really toward abstraction.

One of her early dealers was the collector Earl Stendhal with galleries of Los Angeles. During World War II she worked for the government in the Department of Defense drawing maps.  The Julius Carlebach Gallery of New York City for the next seven years was her dealer at the recommendation of Pierre Matisse and Fernand Leger.

Towards the end of the war, Audrey Skaling met and married the world renowned architect and author Stamo Papadaki, and she became part of the international art and architectural scene of the day.  Together they counted among their friends, Le Corbusier, Fernand Leger, Jose Sert, Edgard Varese, Naum Gabo, James Sweeney, Alexander Calder, and Kurt Seligmann.

Audrey and Stamo settled in Connecticut.  Skaling's dealer during these years was Ruth White, in whose 57th Street gallery in New York City she had many exhibitions of paintings and sculptures.

In 1970 she published a A Bee Sees: a collection of nonsense verse interleaved with clever, intricate pen and ink drawings made from interconnected everyday items of corkscrews, rope, pliers, etc.

In her earlier work, Skaling often eschewed perspective and with the forms of her subject becoming fluid surfaces set in a plane.  Later she found realism filled with emotion.  Deer Contemplating his Image in a pond or Man Reading a Newspaper sitting on a park bench are spellbinding in the sympathy they elicit from a viewer.  There are jolly portraits of small families of animals, cows or pigs, which exude the very essence of their being.

Skaling's sculptures are made of wood, carved and constructed and then painted.  Many of these sculptures such as The Roadrunner resemble imaginary birds, animals, and fish.

Her works are in museums and private collections in Athens, Rio de Janeiro, Geneva, and New York City.  Many of Skaling's works, exhibition announcements, press releases, magazine clippings can be viewed at the Smithsonian Institution web-site from the Ruth White Gallery records.

Information provided by Michel Papadaki, son of the artist.

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