Retrospective of Albany artist Florence Prisant Opens Thursday at the Albany Museum of Art
Thursday, June 14th, 2018
A retrospective of the work of Albany artist and art teacher Florence Samuels Prisant opens Thursday, June 14, in the West Gallery at the Albany Museum of Art. The exhibition, Florence Prisant: A Retrospective, will continue through Saturday, August 25.
Prisant, a longtime prominent figure in the Albany art scene, passed away on April 25 at the age of 91. Born, raised and educated in New York City, she moved to Albany in 1945 and in 1946 married Albany native Oscar Prisant, who passed way in 2004.
The daughter of an immigrant fashion designer, Prisant’s artistic ability was apparent in her early youth. She spoke of sitting next to her father, who she credited as being her first art teacher, when she was a child, drawing as he sketched designs.
Prisant studied alongside painter Sidney Dickinson (1890-1980) and Social Realist painter Isaac Soyer (1902-1981) at the Art Students League in New York, where Russian painter Robert Brackman (1898-1984) taught. Brackman sparked a new movement of Broken Color, an Impressionist painting technique, in Connecticut in the early 1970s.
During the mid- to late 1970s, she was an individual student of David A. Leffel (b. 1931), who was influenced by Rembrandt’s use of light, and by Leffel’s Realist contemporaries of the 1950s-1960s. Leffel was so impressed with his student’s work that he invited Prisant and her daughter Karen to dinner.
Prisant continued to hone her craft during the 1980s-1990s pastelist Daniel E. Greene (b. 1934), and watercolorists Henry Casselli (b. 1946) and Chen-Chi, (1912-2005).
She later added a kiln to her studio and created works of enameling. During the 21st century, Prisant explored experimental painting and went through a period of hiding angels in her abstract works.
Expert in various styles and mediums including oil, watercolor and pastels, she taught painting privately. She was a member of the Pastel Society of America, which recognized her numerous times with displays of her work at the organization’s New York gallery.
The sensitive portraits by Prisant point to her training and talent as a colorist. Her portraits are represented in many private collections throughout the country. One of Prisant's favorite portraits, one of former Congressman Charles Hatcher, hangs in Washington, D.C.
A reception for Florence Prisant: A Retrospective; A Neighborhood for Painters, which opens June 28, 2018 in the Haley Gallery, and Educators as Artists, which opens Aug. 2 in the East Gallery, will be conducted Aug. 9 at the AMA.
The Albany Museum of Art, located in Albany, Georgia, adjacent to Albany State University West Campus just off Gillionville Road, has an impressive collection that includes 19th and 20th century American and European art, as well as a substantial collection of sub-Saharan African art including masks, sculpture, pottery, textiles, and musical instruments. The Albany Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open 10 am through 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and noon until 5 pm on Saturday. Admission is free.