Times Square As You've Never Seen It
Times Square As You’ve Never Seen It is a new series of paintings by Thelma Appel, inspired by her time spent in New York City in the 1970’s and 1980’s. At the time, Thelma was working out of a studio on West 24th Street – only one block from the present location – and exhibiting at the Kornblee and Fischbach Galleries on West 57th Street. Thelma was painting landscapes, and her mind was still in Vermont and the Green Mountains, where she had lived when she was affiliated with Bennington College. It was not until she left New York City that she decided she was finally ready to paint it.
Thelma then asked herself: “What is the most emblematic memory of my time in New York City?” And the answer was, without equivocation, Times Square, also just a few blocks away from her old studio. She had also recently completed a very different series: an expressionistic, almost surreal group of works called Cosmic Dance that involved traveling in time and space.
Although Thelma Appel had considered creating a series of works about Times Square for years, the idea became reality when she started thinking about the concept of Time. It was apt, then, that she found herself traveling through time for a series of works about Times Square – a place whose very title embodies the concept of Time, carrying into the present her memories of this vibrant city.
About the Artist:
Thelma Appel is a representational and abstract painter who has been working and teaching for more than six decades. Now in her 80s, her work is being re-discovered by a new generation of collectors. Appel was raised in Darjeeling, India, and educated in London, England at St. Martin’s School of Art (now called Central St. Martin’s) and Hornsey College of Art in London. She emigrated to the United States in the 1960s. In 1975 she and painter Carol Haerer co-founded the Bennington College Summer Painting Workshop, where many distinguished painters of the day conducted master classes.
She has taught drawing at Parsons School of Design and painting at Southern Vermont College and the University of Connecticut. Her work has been exhibited at the Mattatuck Museum, the Bennington Museum, the Berkshire Museum, the Children’s Museum of the Arts, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Robert Hull Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont, among other venues. In the 1980s, Appel was represented by the renowned Jill Kornblee Gallery and later Fischbach Gallery on West 57th Street.
From October 2019 to February 2020, the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont hosted a career survey of Appel’s work entitled Thelma Appel: Abstract/Observed curated by Mara Williams. In 2020, Appel’s work was featured in Pets of the Pandemic: A Benefit Exhibition, a competition juried by art historian David Cohen, publisher and editor of Artcritical.com, who cited her painting for special distinction, describing it as a “masterful double portrait.”
For more information on Thelma and her work, visit her Instagram here.