A Dancer’s Dilemma
Peterson Picture Co. services not only retail customers but also boutique galleries throughout Chicago. We provide them with beautiful, custom frames with appropriate hanging and installation hardware for an effortlessly classic look in any exhibition.
Recently, Chelsea Culp, a Chicago based artist and curator of New Capital Projects, brought in Untitled (Isadora Duncan) by Abraham Walkowitz for framing. Chelsea wanted a hanging system (the hardware needed to hang artwork on walls) that would be easy to remove yet secure enough to allow multitudes of people to through without disturbing the artwork. Chelsea also requested that the artwork be installed in a way that there would be no gaps and the moulding would be seamless with the wall.
Artwork that is hung up with a wire system can be susceptible to imbalances of the artwork and turbulence from people walking past the artwork. This is in part due to the wire system creating a gap between the artwork and the wall where the wire lays. While appropriate installation and secure design placement can minimize these effects, they cannot always be considered in a gallery setting which accommodates the movement of many people through the space.
We installed a special “Cradle Hanging System” onto Walkowitz’s work for a gapless installation in the gallery and added security. The Cradle Hanging System uses two fasteners on either side of the back of the artwork that latches into two hooks that have been screwed into the wall.
You can see the fasteners on the left and right side of this artwork in the above photo. We take extra care to make sure that the fasteners and hooks on the wall perfectly align with one another and with the artwork to ensure a level presentation. The artwork easily slips on and off of the hooks on the wall with no gaps between the artwork and the wall.
From the exhibition catalog:
“Abraham Walkowitz (b. 1878)
Untitled (Isadora Duncan)
Watercolor and ink on paper – 1906
In his early childhood Abraham Walkowitz immigrated from Siberia to the United States.
He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City, and later drifted around the avant-garde circles of photographer Alfred Stieglitz and his 291 Gallery. Although his abstract paintings never reached the acclaim of his peers (Arthur Dove and Max Weber), his series of life sketches of the experimental modern dancer Isadora Duncan have been widely celebrated.
Having first met Duncan in the studio of Auguste Rodin, Walkowitz went on to produce approximately 5,000 drawings of her dancing in her studio between 1906 and 1913. These works celebrate Duncan’s philosophy of breaking with the past and being responsive to the present moment. In the early 1900s she was the cultural icon of the buzzed about New Woman and an obvious muse. Most of these concentrated works are now in the collections of major museums.
The existence of these works speak not only to Duncan and Walkowitz’s philosophical affinities, but to the cultural circles that organized because of place, location, and new urban density—a lifestyle increasingly unfamiliar to our digital lives.