Figures on a Balcony Overlooking the Beach by Abraham Walkowitz
A native of Siberia, Walkowitz immigrated to New York as a child. After studying at the National Academy of Design in New York City, he attended the Académie Julian in Paris from 1906 to 1907 where he saw the first exhibition of Fauve paintings. Figures on a Balcony Overlooking the Beach was executed upon his return to New York in 1908. The influence of the Fauves on this oil monoprint with handwork is evident throughout. It is probably one of the earliest Fauve-inspired works by any American artist.
The Coney Island scene is an early beach scene, but beach life remained a favorite subject for the artist throughout his long career. Another subject that Walkowitz is closely identified with is the pioneering modern dancer Isadora Duncan. Over a thirty-year period, Walkowitz documented Duncan’s dances in watercolor and oil. Walkowitz was an exhibitor at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery and the all- important 1913 Armory Show. He is inextricably tied to the advent of modernism in American Art.