February is for Flinn Alumni Artist Valentines!

Invitation for Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Hirshhorn Select: Art for the Young Collector (1970)

While the Flinn Gallery is closed we’re taking a look through our archives with special monthly themes. In February we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special focus on the many artist couples we’ve shown. Read on and click through the links for even more!

Love may be all around us, but here at the Flinn Gallery we’ve frequently chosen to show our couples apart. Elaine de Kooning (1956’s Greenwich Collects: Twentieth Century Masterpieces) and her husband Willem de Kooning (five shows between 1967 and 1976) are amongst the most prominent and earliest names, but recent shows have featured New Haven-based Jaclyn Conley (2014’s Animalia) and husband Jonathan Brand (2013’s Yale MFA: Five Years Later) as well as photographer Dan Mosher Long (2014’s Reconnecting With Nature) and mixed media artist Rebecca Clark (2018’s Looking Forward, Looking Back). Lois Dodd (1978’s Cape Split Place, Inc.) and William King (four shows beginning in 1970) were married for several years. After Robert Motherwell moved to Greenwich in 1972, we featured his work three times, most notably in a 1987 solo show of his collages. His wife Renate Ponsold’s portrait photography was also given a solo exhibition in Artists and Such… Photographs 1958-1977.

Exceptions to keeping our valentines apart are Peggie and Larry Blizard (1979’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings) and Gail and Ken Resen who we showed together in 2008’s Counterpoint. Our Yale show also featured partners Andy Lane and Beth Livinsperger (shown again in 2015’s Interiors). And while we showed Leonard Ochtman twice (in shows devoted to the Cos Cob Art Colony and Greenwich’s 350th anniversary), it took us until 2019 to exhibit his work side by side with his wife, Mina Ochtman.

Over the years we’ve organized and hosted notable craft-based shows which have included internationally renowned fiber artists Naomi and Masakazu Kobayashi, Katherine Westphal and her husband Ed Rossbach, and local artists Audrey and Drew Klotz (2004’s Please Be Seated!, a.k.a. “The Chair Show”). While researching in our archives, we came across a Greenwich couple, Helen Marie and Marcel Itin, who showed together in 1973, Namibian residents Dörte and Volker Berner who were featured in 1988, and early Abstract Expressionists, Judith Dolnick and Robert Natkin (1975’s Paintings), who also co-founded Chicago’s scene-making Wells Street Gallery.

But perhaps the most notable is the double coupling of artists Anni and Josef Albers, whom we’ve shown both separately and once together, in a show curated by another couple who lived in Greenwich: 1970’s Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Hirshhorn Select: Art for the Young Collector. Art collectors Joseph and Olga Hirshhorn selected “works in various media by prominent contemporary artists” with prices ranging from $25 to $500. Our catalogue notes that “although prices have risen dramatically over the past decade, it is still possible for the young collector with limited resources to buy significant works of art at reasonable prices.” The show featured original oils, sculptures from around the world, drawings, limited editions, and even select collectible art books.

You can find more of our artists here and if you’d like to further explore the theme of artists in love, the Greenwich Library created a reading list.