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Alexandra Tyng Receives Grand Prize In Allied Artists’ 2024 Associate Online Show

By Michael C. Gabriele

 

Even though Alexandra Tyng was born in Rome in the mid-1950s, she didn’t stay long enough in “The Eternal City” to “do as the Romans do.” Her parents, Anne Tyng and Louis Kahn, were architects. “My mother went to Italy for a year to travel and gave birth to me, while my father was in Philadelphia running his office.” When she was 10 months old, Alexandra and her mom returned to Philadelphia.

She apparently inherited the gene for draftsmanship and a love of art, which led to Alexandra earning the Grand Prize in the Allied Artists of America’s 2024 Associates Online Show for her painting “Worlds within Worlds.” The oil painting depicts her son, Julian, holding a magnifying glass and symbolically doing an ever-deeper dive into the realm of the natural world, “exploring levels of scale that we don’t even know.”

         “I was thrilled,” she said during a recent interview. “It’s so exciting to win a grand prize. I’m thrilled that Allied Artists judged my work to be worthy of this honor.”

         It was during her formative years in the Philadelphia area where she became enamored with art. “I grew up in a neighborhood of Center City, which is the actual center of Philadelphia. For the past 30 years, since my children were young, I've lived right outside the city.” Growing up in Center City, a haven for authors and artists, Alexandra was inspired by master book illustrators such as N.C. Wyeth, George Cruikshank, and especially the fanciful drawings of Beth and Joe Krush—best known for their illustrations of children’s books during the mid-20th century, such as The Borrowers.

         Beth and Joe lived in a nearby Philadelphia suburb (King of Prussia). Alexandra reached out to them and they befriended and mentored her, critiquing her paintings and drawings and encouraging her to pursue her passion for art.

         Alexandra attended Harvard University and graduated in 1975 with an MA, BA in Fine Arts. Two years later earned an MS Ed degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Buoyed by the enthusiasm of Beth and Joe Krush, Alexandra began painting portraits of friends and family members. She soon began to receive commissions for her artwork. This, in turn, led her to become involved in Philadelphia’s 3rd Street Gallery, a cooperative group founded in 1978 to support independent artists.

         She had a painting accepted at a 1974 juried exhibition “FOCUS: Women in the Visual Arts,” held at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. “That was a big deal,” she recalled. “As I was developing as an artist, I didn’t want to fit in; I wanted to stand out.”

         During this period her artwork kept evolving to figurative work, realistic nature scenes and plein air painting, and dramatic aerial views of rolling landscapes. She also had the responsibility of raising her two children. In 1990, an art consultant took note of her work and introduced her to New York City’s renowned Fischbach Gallery.

Fischbach displayed her paintings, many of which captured the rugged landscapes of Maine, and her work attracted reviews in art magazines. She had seven solo exhibitions at the Fischbach Gallery in 2012, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999 and 1997. Those solo shows were major milestones in her career, she recalled.

         Today Alexandra lives in Narberth, PA, another Philadelphia suburb, and continues to pursue her visions in art. Her extensive resume, which describes her as “a contemporary realist painter known for her narrative, symbolic figurative works, her expansive aerial landscapes, and her portraits,” lists her many accomplishments and awards. Most recently, her work was displayed in group exhibitions, such as the 2024 “Maine Event II,” Gallery 222, in Malvern, PA; the 2023 “Art of Penobscot Bay,” Thos. Moser Showroom and Gallery, Freeport, ME; and Allied Artists of America’s 109th annual exhibition, 2022 at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.

 

        Alexandra Tyng, photo by Mark Bobrowicz


Alexandra in her studio


“Worlds Within Worlds” by Alexandra Tyng


          “The Unseen Aspect” by Alexandra Tyng


"Scavengers" by Alexandra Tyng

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