Exhibitions at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
Theater.Ink: The Art of Sam Norkin
Self portrait by Sam Norkin.November 22 through January 18, 2003
Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery
The deft brush strokes of Sam Norkin have evoked the stages and illuminated the major players in New York’s performing arts scene for the past 62 years. The more than 200 drawings in Theater.Ink: The Art of Sam Norkin attest to the richness and variety of New York’s cultural history and Norkin’s perception and skill at bringing its performers to life. His work has taken him to Central Park for music festivals, the Metropolitan Opera House for the opening of every new production, the legit houses of Broadway and Off-Broadway for theater openings, Carnegie Hall for the recitals of the premier contemporary classical artists, and Madison Square Garden for the circus.
The exhibition is arranged chronologically, from a 1940 drawing of Alfred Hitchcock directing Mr. and Mrs. North that ran in the New York Herald Tribune to a full stage depiction of this season’s latest Broadway hit, Hairspray. Since 1940, Norkin has been observing and drawing performers for such major publications as the New York Herald Tribune and the New York Daily News, and the Saturday Review and Harper’s magazines. Through preliminary sketchbooks and a re-creation of Norkin’s workspace, viewers will be able to see the methods used by this master artist/caricaturist/illustrator/cultural critic as he captured the likenesses of such opera stars as Placido Domingo and Joan Sutherland; such dance legends as Judith Jamison and Rudolf Nureyev; such jazz greats as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman; and such baton wielders as Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, and Arturo Toscanini. Among the many other personalities on view are pianists Victor Borge and Liberace; choreographer George Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky; and a wide variety of singers, including Joan Baez, Debbie Harry, Bette Midler, Prince, Simon and Garfunkel, Patti Smith, and Led Zeppelin.
Here’s the press release: