BISHOP, Isabel

Creator

BISHOP, ISABEL
United States, 1902 - 1989
Isabel Bishop was an American painter best known for her urban scenes of Union Square and candid portraits of women. Her works have a golden light and curvilinear quality, often reminiscent of Peter Paul Rubens. Born on March 3, 1902 in Cincinnati, OH, to well-educated parents, Bishop went on to pursue illustration at the New York School of Applied Design for Women in New York when she was only 16 years old. She later studied painting under Guy Pène du Bois and Robert Henri at the Art Students League, and even spent time traveling throughout Europe to see the work of the Old Masters. Eventually, Bishop would be famed as the only full-time female instructor at the Art Students League. In addition, she learned from other early modernists including Max Weber and Robert Henri. Bishop was described as an eager intellectual who was naturally inquisitive and independent in her ways. In this period, women were becoming very active in the arts community, yet weren’t taken seriously. Bishop pushed against this attitude toward women artists with her insistence on applying herself both academically and politically in the art realm with the financial support of a cousin. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s she developed a realist style of painting, primarily depicting women in their daily routine on the streets of Manhattan. She became interested in the interaction of form and ground and the mobility of everyday life, what she called "unfixity", life and movement captured on canvas. Her style is noted for its sensitive modeling of form and a submarine pearliness and density of atmosphere. During this time, Bishop began working in various printing techniques, most notably aquatint. Bishop's mature works mainly depict the inhabitants of New York's Union Square and the surrounding area. Her portraits are often studies of individual heads; the emphasis securely on the subject's expression – or of solitary nudes. Bishop also painted multiple-figure compositions, often containing two females engaged in various workday interactions. In the post-war years, Bishop's interest turned to more abstracted scenes of New Yorkers walking and traveling, in the streets or on the subways. In the mid-1940s, E. P. Dutton commissioned Bishop to illustrate a new edition of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Bishop produced 31 pen-and-ink drawings.

Citation

BISHOP, ISABEL, United States, 1902 - 1989, and Isabel Bishop was an American painter best known for her urban scenes of Union Square and candid portraits of women. Her works have a golden light and curvilinear quality, often reminiscent of Peter Paul Rubens. Born on March 3, 1902 in Cincinnati, OH, to well-educated parents, Bishop went on to pursue illustration at the New York School of Applied Design for Women in New York when she was only 16 years old. She later studied painting under Guy Pène du Bois and Robert Henri at the Art Students League, and even spent time traveling throughout Europe to see the work of the Old Masters. Eventually, Bishop would be famed as the only full-time female instructor at the Art Students League. In addition, she learned from other early modernists including Max Weber and Robert Henri. Bishop was described as an eager intellectual who was naturally inquisitive and independent in her ways. In this period, women were becoming very active in the arts community, yet weren’t taken seriously. Bishop pushed against this attitude toward women artists with her insistence on applying herself both academically and politically in the art realm with the financial support of a cousin. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s she developed a realist style of painting, primarily depicting women in their daily routine on the streets of Manhattan. She became interested in the interaction of form and ground and the mobility of everyday life, what she called "unfixity", life and movement captured on canvas. Her style is noted for its sensitive modeling of form and a submarine pearliness and density of atmosphere. During this time, Bishop began working in various printing techniques, most notably aquatint. Bishop's mature works mainly depict the inhabitants of New York's Union Square and the surrounding area. Her portraits are often studies of individual heads; the emphasis securely on the subject's expression – or of solitary nudes. Bishop also painted multiple-figure compositions, often containing two females engaged in various workday interactions. In the post-war years, Bishop's interest turned to more abstracted scenes of New Yorkers walking and traveling, in the streets or on the subways. In the mid-1940s, E. P. Dutton commissioned Bishop to illustrate a new edition of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Bishop produced 31 pen-and-ink drawings., “BISHOP, Isabel,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 25, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/4674.