Press and Awards

2020 Independent Press Award

We are proud to announce that The Art of Symeon Shimin has won an Independent Press Award, the 2020 Distinguished Favorites award in the category of Fine Arts. 

 
 

The Art of Symeon Shimin - Kirkus Review 2020

Edited by Tonia Shimin - Release Date: Nov. 1, 2019

A loving survey of an artist’s varied career.

Editor Tonia Shimin assembles essays and images that span the rich career of her late father, the painter Symeon Shimin.

The book’s opening section is a brief autobiographical essay that Symeon Shimin wrote before his death in 1984. In it, he spends little time on the subject of painting, focusing instead on his family life. He was born in Astrakhan, Russia, in 1902 and wanted to be a musician as a child; he idolized his uncle Eli, who was a composer. In 1912, the family moved to New York City. As he pursued his art, representational drawing came to him easily, and his first studies were on paper bags from his father’s new delicatessen. The second essay, by critic Josef Woodard, provides a fine portrait of Shimin’s artistic life and takes time to appreciate the artist’s illustrations for movie posters and children’s books. But to Woodard, these finely executed projects prevented Shimin from pursuing more worthwhile works like his Contemporary Justice and the Child, “a landmark mural” in the U.S. Department of Justice building. In the final essay, arts journalist Charles Donelan fastidiously moves through Shimin’s oeuvre, presenting a notion of the artist as a “passionate observer” and “humanist” whose representational paintings were underappreciated when abstract works dominated art markets. Together, the three essays achieve an edifying balance with Shimin’s intimate reflection, Woodard’s steady survey, and Donelan’s academic appreciation. The rest of the book consists of reproductions, ably arranged to showcase Shimin's virtuosity and beautifully highlight his career-spanning fascination with the human form. The reprints of studies for Contemporary Justice are a highlight, revealing the minute strokes of brilliance that contributed to a coherent whole. A glowing reprint of Shimin’s later painting The Pack shows the artist’s knack for chaotic ensemble, as does Discussion Group (I), reprinted across two facing pages. In her acknowledgments, Tonia Shimin says that she intended the book as a “tribute to the work of my father”; it is, and it also underscores the skills of its editor.

A loving survey of an artist’s varied career.

- Kirkus Reviews

Tonia Shimin: The Art of Symeon Shimin

Radio interview with Elizabeth Appraisals

 

For information please contact: Tonia Shimin shimin@theaterdance.ucsb.edu

For media inquiries please contact: Nancy Black, nancy.black@mercurypress.com

© Tonia Shimin 2018

by Mercury Press International

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