July ArtistAngle Exhibit Recreates '67 Parisian Holocaust Tribute By the Late Artist-Turned-Teacher Myron Barnstone

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Starting July 8, ArtistAngle Gallery in Frederick, Maryland brings new life to original paintings that last shocked and fascinated the public over half a century ago in Paris.

Disintegration, by Myron Barnstone, Paris, 1966, oil on board, 29 7/16” x 41 1/8”

Emotions: How Art Awakens the Soul, a solo exhibit by the late master artist-turned-master teacher Myron Barnstone, debuts with a wine and cheese reception 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. Emotions includes both pen and ink and color pieces Barnstone created, mainly in Paris and Spain during the 1960s, before he put down his brushes to devote the next 35 years of his life to teaching.

It was during his years in Spain that Barnstone began feeling the full weight of the horrors of nuclear war, and the holocaust. He himself lost several family members during the atrocities, and was haunted by the suffering they, and millions of others, endured.

With a ferocious intensity, Barnstone painted canvas after canvas depicting twisted, tortured, faces and bodies. His brushes and pens captured people trapped in boxes, suspended on poles, writhing in agony or laying in silent death in heart-rending detail. But the world would never see those images. Instead, Barnstone torched hundreds of the paintings and drawings right before he moved to Paris.

There, resituated in his new studio, Barnstone once again tackled the overwhelming emotions of war. In a dizzying six-week period, he recreated many of the holocaust images he’d destroyed. Those pieces were unveiled during Barnstone’s widely acclaimed 1967 “the survivors” show at The American Church in Paris. Barnstone tacked strings of lights in tin cans on the ceiling of The Catacombs of the church to recreate the emotions people felt as they crouched in dimly lit shelters, fighting to survive.

Widely acclaimed by critics and the European media, “the survivors” show was extended to nine weeks. After the huge success of that exhibit, the paintings were immediately locked away, not to be seen again until the ArtistAngle Gallery exhibit this summer.

Barnstone made the difficult decision to shift from painter to teacher when he realized art classes no longer offered the precise geometric design classical masters studied for years before creating their iconic works. When Barnstone decided to move his family to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and start teaching a new generation of artists, he burned or locked away hundreds of his own pieces so he would never unduly influence his students’ creative vision.

It wasn’t until after his death in 2016 his daughter, Catherine “Cat” Barnstone Szafran, took on the responsibility of becoming the new director of Barnstone Studios, and continued sharing Barnstone’s recorded classes with serious art students through the BarnstoneStudios.com website. She also started revealing some of Barnstone’s work to the world. Emotions: How Art Awakens the Soul is the third in a revolving series of four exhibits at ArtistAngle that began in March, and runs through the end of July.

Some original Barnstone works, and limited edition prints of selected paintings and drawings, will be available for sale at ArtistAngle. All come with a numbered and signed certificate of authenticity.

ArtistAngle Gallery is located on the east side of historic downtown Frederick, at the corner of South Carroll and Commerce Streets. Once an old granary, the current gallery space is a masterpiece in itself. The gallery features work from local, regional and national artists. Exhibits rotate every 4 to 6 weeks and are normally scheduled up to one year in advance. Throughout the year the gallery hosts art and custom framing-related demonstrations, and lectures for artists and art lovers. Contact the gallery at 240-285-3758, or through the website at TheArtistAngle.

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Cat Barnstone Szafran

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