A chance meeting with the accomplished widow of a great artist

Blanche Abram, delightful widow of the artist Irving Abram
Mutual family friend, Al Grand, painted by Irving Abram (coincidence)
Abram’s son David in youth

This is a story that has synchronicity, and one must call karmic or fateful.

I attended the birthday party for a gifted musician composer friend, Dana Richardson. When you see his name at Carnegie Hall, where he sometimes performs, don’t miss the concert.   He is experimental and popular.  Regardless, I have been invited twice and could not attend and vowed I would be there the third time.  At his party were artists, poets, writers, musicians and intellectuals. It was as if the Paris salon of the past was a current happening.  I had given my friend a limited high resolution signed print of my painting, “Blue Rhapsody,” which is currently in the East Hampton Guild Hall show (and it is for sale).  That started people asking me about my artistic creations. Everybody seemed to love that painting. Well, one of the people there informed me that her late husband was an artist and she invited me to come to her home and see his work. I didn’t know the name, but she seemed so sweet and genuine, and I have an affinity for senior citizens, so I visited and was amazed by what I saw.  Blanche  (a fine pianist) is in her 90s and still a youngster at heart. She is the senior music professor at Hofstra (47 years teaching there) and her husband was Irving Abram, whom artists know by name. I am a dolt when it comes to that sort of name recognition more often than I care to admit.  He was an incredibly talented man who was professionally a dentist turned artist. He was also a poet (like I had been) and had a terrific dancer, and turns out he and Blanche knew a couple as best friends who were also among my parents’ best friends!  The artwork I saw was spellbinding. Great art is all I can say.  Realism, expressionism and abstract works, he mastered them all. I thought my mother had a lot of paintings pre-housefire of 1999, but this guy had more!  How’d he do it?

Examining a small section of Irving’s work


Samples of Irving Abram portraits












One of the artists Irving studied with  was Jack Tworaov, a famous Polish Jewish abstract artist, whom I had not heard of. I asked Kevin Larkin, who knows everybody who ever painted and he knew of him immediately and said he loves his work. Kevin, who teaches abstract classes at the Art League of LI is a walking and talking art encyclopedia!

Although there were plenty of abstract paintings by Irving on the walls, and they were wonderfully executed, I was breathless when I saw his portraits, especially with social revolt imagery.

I painted something recently that I tentatively entitled “Floaters” or “Fest,” and he immediately saw three bachelors from a work by Marcel Duchamp,( the father of Dadaism) in it.  When I looked up the piece in glass, I found the elements I  had included were likened to his, including positioning, but I had never seen that work and it is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where I had never been. Was I channeling again? I do that sometimes. I don’t mean to do it. I did it when I wrote fiction too. Who knows? Living my life as an artist now, I am in a different realm of expression and my sensitivity is active. Channel or not, I am filter and it is my own creation.

My work is becoming a sort of abstract surrealism, which is metaphysical.  Meanwhile, I am working on another “composite” painting (different parts joined into one larger piece) and those are more abstract without the surrealistic bent. I always had a leaning towards both and now they are fusing. After I receive confirmation of the copyright for the new paintings, I may display them online to make my point. I copyright all my paintings, as I’ve mentioned, and then I show and may add them to the website.

That brings up a point, a multimedia artist told me my work and others are acquired and used and revised by other artists and it is the way it is, an ugly art world out there. I assume she is talking from the perspective of a multimedia artist who takes magazine photos for transfers of  imagery and photos and artwork cut up to incorporate in multimedia projects, without concern for individual copyrights.  It brought up the upset I felt when my painting “Sweep” was included in a local newspaper for the BJ Spoke Gallery art show recently and did not include my required copyright and name. The paper literally violated my copyright due to sloppy journalism.

Still angry about that event, I said and meant it, I will sue anyone who takes any part or whole of my artistic creations.  I have that right with the copyright protection to sue. Acquisition art incorporation is theft. Her argument was that it would take years and cost a lot. My position is, it’s worth it. I strongly disagree with her. There is no question, I will sue. With this in mind, as I searched for some new brushes, I spoke to an artist at Dick Blick’s about the matter and he agreed with me. What do you think about the subject? (You can respond via the comments/guestbook or you can email me: mskirshner@gmail.com).


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