• Frank Vavruska
    Untitled (Mexican Scene)
    1942
    oil on canvas
    20" x 26"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Untitled (Mexican Scene)
    1942
    oil on canvas
    18" x 27"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Untitled
    1945
    oil on canvas
    13" x 11"

  • Frank Vavruska
    The Seagull
    1946
    oil on canvas
    26" x 38"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Untitled (Room)
    1942
    oil on canvas
    20" x 24"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Untitled
    1944
    oil on canvas
    24" x 31"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Three Figures
    1947
    oil on canvas
    26" x 30"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Untitled (Red Landscape with Boat)
    1945
    oil on canvas
    20" x 26"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Norah Knitting in a Blackout
    1944
    goauche on paper mounted on board
    30" x 22"

  • Frank Vavruska
    The Horse
    1948
    oil on canvas
    36" x 28"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Grandpa Reflected
    1956
    oil on canvas
    43" x 31.5"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Venus Reborn II
    1955
    oil on canvas
    48" x 32"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Moon Venus
    1951
    oil on canvas
    39" x 29"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Untitled Figure
    1944
    oil on board
    35.75" x 17.5"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Mystic Head
    1947
    oil on canvas
    33.75" x 28"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Memory of a Tiled Roof
    1952
    oil on canvas
    37" x 29"

  • Frank Vavruska
    Harbor's Night
    1949
    oil on canvas
    26" x 20"


PRESS RELEASE

 

Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present the first one-person exhibition of Frank Vavruska’s work in nearly 40 years.

Frank Vavruska was born in 1917 in Antigo, Wisconsin, to Czech parents. He studied art at University of Wisconsin (1935-38) and the Art Institute of Chicago (1938-41), where he took a BFA and was awarded the Ryerson Traveling Fellowship, which enabled him to paint and travel in Mexico (1941-42, again 1945-46). While hospitalized in England in the US Army during WWII, Vavruska produced many paintings which were the basis for a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1945. In 1947, a painting of his (“Cows in a Tropical Landscape”) was selected for the important Abstraction & Surrealism in American Art exhibition, curated by Frederick Sweet and Katharine Kuh at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the piece was reproduced in the show’s catalog.

Primarily based in Chicago, Vavruska was a nomad at heart. He worked for two years in the Yucatan Peninsula, was commissioned to make a mural for the Archeological Museum in Campeche, and developed an avid interest in the archeological richness of the region. Vavruska lived in Europe for six years, mainly in southern France, and he traveled in North Africa, Italy, Paris, and spent a year in London. In the late ’40s, his work began to shift from its expressionist and cubist figurative basis – incorporating elements from Miro, Picasso, and Klee, as well as Kahlo and Rivera – towards a purer form of abstraction, and his work from the early ’50s bears some resemblance to the work of CoBrA artists of Northern Europe, some of which he may have seen at the time. The other point of reference during this fertile period, in which Vavruska temporarily relocated from Chicago to New York, are the totemic abstractions of Adolph Gottlieb. Vavruska’s beautiful, rough abstract paintings were included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan (American Painting Today, 1950), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1957), Madison Square Garden (Art U.S.A., 1958), and elsewhere. Much too young, Vavruska died in 1974, age 56.