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 Lilian MacKendrick  (1906 - 1987)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: interior with figure painting, sculpture, lithography

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Ad Code: 3
Lilian MacKendrick
from Auction House Records.
Paris Restaurant
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Lawrence Cantor Fine Art:
Lilian MacKendrick was a natural born artist. She had a talent that was intuitive and a searching artistic intellect. The daughter of Russian emigrants, she grew up in the art world of New York’s Armory Show.  A graduate of New York University with a degree in Fine Arts, she went on to study sculpture at City College of New York as well as painting at the Art Students League.  Her early attempts were in the non-objective field.  Despite her tremendous admiration for the great European painters of the 18th & 19th centuries (she copied, as a learning exercise, all the drawings of Goya and Rembrandt in this country), her tastes, since childhood, were for Oriental rather than American and European painting which she found “too violent.”  But she continued her exploration of the fusion of East and West, arriving at a synthesis that has been described, among other things, as a “recovery of the image.”  Some of her work, however, has echoes of the work of the French masters Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse; a reference that the artist herself would not find offensive.  She regularly spent summer vacations in France. 

Many observers of her work say that her paintings make them feel that life is good again; that there is something wonderful and exciting about the world they are eager to see when they wake up in the morning, and that her paintings are 'singular and striking'.  Jane Janson’s statement in regards to MacKendrick’s 1958 exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Galleries easily applies to some of her painting: “Her range of blazing summer color and exuberant pattern captivate the eye, and lend renewed zest to a realm which has been ignored for awhile, and to which we return with instinctive delight.”

“Has seen” is the operative phrase because her works are rarely seen these days, although there are over 400 works in private collections.  A devastating flood in her studio in 1984 destroyed a number of works. 

Permanent Collections
Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, Texas
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MI
Galeria d’Arte Contemporanea, Bordighera, Italy
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Georgia Museum, Athens, GA
Brandeis University, Boston, MA
Bezalel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.

Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
Galerie Benezit, Paris
USIS, Ostend, Belgium
Audubon Artists, New York
Witte Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX
New York City Center
Third Biennial of American Painting, Bordighera, Italy
Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Clearwater, FL
“Eleven Americans,” touring French Museums, 1956-57

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