Polly King

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Coni Minneci

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Polly King (American, 1900-1993) Perhaps no American artist so completely epitomizes art in the 20th century as Polly King. Born at the turn of the century in Wheeling West Virginia, she painted and sketched through every decade until her death in 1993. Schooled at Carnegie Tech, The American Academy of Design, Cooper Union and the Arts Student League, she embraced many styles through her 93 years, from classicism to impressionism to abstract.

Her works, perhaps more than any other artist, completely covered the fabric and texture of the 20th century. Because, for nine decades, Polly King painted the world around her, from her birthplace in Wheeling to her adopted home in Niagara Falls to the four corners of the earth.

She was an indefatigable traveler, throughout America, Europe and the Middle East. And wherever she went, her sketchbook, easel, pens and paints went with her. She left a legacy of images of the world that is unmatched. From the ruins of ancient Greece to the construction of the huge plants that harnessed the power of Niagara, from Cezanne’s studio to her backyard garden, from the minarets of Istanbul to the mountains of Charleston, she painted it all, with an unfailing eye for beauty and color of her surroundings.

"Polly King can't be classified as an impressionist for she usually avoids the short strokes of pure colors to be blended by the eye; yet whether her work is principally in line and in flat abstract palette knife planes, one feels she has recorded monetary "fleeting impressions" of a moving subject which may never appear again in the same way."

"Polly King extracts lyrical beauty in all that she sees from the prosaic industrial theme to the ancient art of the Greeks. Her work, covering so many diverse subjects in so many far-flung places, is an invitation to look at the world through the eyes of an artist and the heart of a poet."

(Source: pollykingart.com, which is maintained by her son Don King)

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