In 1935, Morris Hirshfield retired from his job as a tailor. Born in 1872 in Poland, arriving in America at 18, he was in his 60s and tired. He downgraded to a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, but soon his shabby new home was an impromptu studio. For two years Hirshfield worked on two paintings, Angora Cat and Beach Girl, bright and evocative images built with staccato brushmarks. In 1939, the experienced collector Sidney Janis spotted these works and included them in a show at the Museum of Modern Art. The acclaim kept coming and in 1943 Hirshfield was the subject of a solo show at MoMA. He died three years later, but had amassed 76 artworks during his short career. This exhibition features 40 of Hirshfield’s wonderfully enigmatic paintings. —E.C.
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