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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Sheila Isham

Hollis Taggart / New York / Art

The Washington Color School, formed in the 1950s, brought together artists such as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, and briefly gave the nation’s capital a bohemian edge. At that time there was a cluster of women artists, less heralded, whose abstract paintings and sculptures stood in splashy contrast to their husbands’ careers as spies, diplomats, and bureaucrats. Sheila Isham, now 95, was one of the more talented and prolific. In 1950, fresh out of Bryn Mawr, she married Heyward Isham, a career diplomat, and in postings as varied and demanding as Berlin, Moscow, Paris, Hong Kong, and Haiti, she raised children and kept painting, agilely absorbing new cultures and spiritual themes into her work. This exhibition at Hollis Taggart showcases the massive abstract paintings, known as “Energy Fields,” that Isham made from 1968 to 1978. It’s a feast of light and dazzling color, and well worth a look. —Alessandra Stanley

Hollis Taggart 521 W 26th St 1st floor, New York, NY 10001
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