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Florence Prisant: A Retrospective

West Gallery
June 14, 2018
- August 25, 2018

Florence Samuels Prisant (1926-2018) was born, reared and educated in New York City. The daughter of an immigrant fashion designer, her artistic ability was apparent in her early youth. She spoke of sitting next to her father, her first art teacher, as a child, drawing as he sketched designs. She moved to Albany in 1945 and married Albany native Oscar Prisant (1921-2004) in 1946.

Prisant studied alongside painter Sidney Dickinson (1890-1980) and Social Realist painter Isaac Soyer (1902-81) 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.

Prisant was an individual student of David A. Leffel (b. 1931) in the 1970s. In the 1980s-90s, she honed her skills with colleagues pastelist Daniel E. Greene (b. 1934), and watercolorists Chen-Chi (1912-2005) and Henry Casselli (b. 1946).

Prisant later added a kiln to her studio and created works of enameling. During the 21st century, she explored experimental painting and went through a period of hiding angels in her abstract works.

Expert in various styles and mediums, 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.

Pastel drawing of a woman sitting in a chair as she eats fruit and reads a book
Florence Prisant created this undated pastel portrait of Shirley Geer of Albany when Geer was in her late teens.

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