Janet Abramowicz

Janet Abramowicz

Fellow: Awarded 1991
Field of Study: Fine Arts Research

Competition: US & Canada

Harvard University

Janet Abramowicz was a practicing painter and printmaker based in New York City. During her career she also lived and worked in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Rome. While in Japan she traveled throughout the country studying workshops of papermakers, and she wrote reviews about modern art for the Asahi Evening News, including the works of Wols, Barnet Newman, André Kertész, and Japanese contemporary artists. Her first solo exhibition was held at the Nantenshi Gallery in Tokyo.

She is a graduate of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna, where she was a student of Giorgio Morandi and also served as his teaching assistant. She wrote extensively on the painter, beginning in 1968 with an essay for the Vancouver Art Gallery and most recently for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2008). Her book Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence, published by Yale University Press, is the most complete biography of the painter. Now in its second printing, her book has recently been translated into Japanese and published in Tokyo.

From 1971 to 1991 she was senior lecturer in fine arts at Harvard University, where she established a program in the history of materials and studio techniques for the department of fine arts. In 1990 she was elected a member ad honorem of the Accademia Clementina in Italy for her contribution to Italian studies. She received fellowships and grants from many institutions, including the Fulbright Commission, the Japan Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and she was a visiting artist during several summers at the American Academy in Rome and an artist-in-residence at both the MacDowell Colony and the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Rome.

Her paintings and etchings, which use multiple plates and three-dimensional collages, are in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library, New York City; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge; Boston Public Library; Museo d’Arte Moderna, La Spezia; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Bologna; Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome; New Museum, Hokkaido; Ohara Museum, Kurashiki; Tokyo Gallery; University Museums at the University of Delaware, Newark; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Royal College of Art, London; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; 24th National Print Exhibition, Tokyo; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held in New York (Susan Caldwell), Tokyo (Nantenshi Gallery), Florence (La Strozzina di Palazzo Strozzi), Bologna (Galleria La Loggia), and Milan (Galleria del Milione). In May of 2013, Abramowicz had a retrospective at Palazzo Poli in Rome of her collages, drawings and etchings. The exhibition was curated by Fabio Fiorani at the Instituto Nazionale per la Grafica.

Art critics and historians who have written about her work include Francesco Arcangeli, Jacqueline Brody, Timothy Harris, Irving Hass, David Kiehl, Alberto Martini, Franco Russoli, Dario Trento, Barry Walker, and Y. Yonihara. She appeared on Zoom, Italy’s international cultural affairs program.


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