In Head, Heart, Hand, Grace Bakst Wapner presents recent paintings with rich palettes that appear subdued and calm on her distinctive surfaces of unstretched jute, canvas, and buckram. This use of a variety of materials, combined painting, hand stitching and machine sewing asserts and celebrates the inextricable harmony of the head, heart, and hand. The work concerns disparity and connection, color and texture, diversity and unity, form and the distillation of form. Wapner explains, “All my life while working I have believed “decoration is the art sin”. All my life I have loved the decorative. This work is the struggle to reconcile the two by honoring the one without compromising the other.”
Grace Bakst Wapner was born in 1934 in Brooklyn, New York. Wapner received her B.A. from Bennington College, and attended the summer M.F.A. program at Bard College. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture Award for 1978-1979, a National Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize Award in 2013, and an Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award from the Byrdcliffe Guild in 2015. After being a member of 55 Mercer St. Gallery from 1973 until 1978, she joined the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in New York City where she had six one-person shows. Wapner has had 27 one-person shows and participated in over 100 group exhibitions. She has been featured in many notable publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Village Voice, Art Business News among many others. Her work is in public and private collections across the country.