Biala was born in 1904 in a Polish village whose name she took for her own. With her family, she emigrated to this country in 1913. As an adult, and until her death, she lived in Paris with her first husband, Ford Madox Ford. In the early 60's, she returned to Paris with her second husband, the painter Daniel Brustlein, and lived there until she died on September 24, 2000. (Brustlein died in 1996.) In her work she has shaped a personal view of the world that reflects an experience spanning both old and new and spans nearly a century.
She was the first in her family to become a painter and when she was 19 she went to Provincetown to study painting. Her brother, Jack Tworkov, followed her, and according to family lore, began to paint in order to show her that he could paint better.
Her work brought new life to the most familiar of subjects. Her paintings, rooted in the Old World, with their blend of realism and fancy, are rich in nuance. Gossamer shapes float in a space defined by condensed and sparse forms. Her paintings, devoid of philosophical ponderings, are a skillful blend of intimacy and isolation. In viewing Biala's paintings, one senses an instant recognition. Her motifs are the traditional ones - interiors, landscapes, still lifes and figures, often in combination, and a sense of personal emotion is invested in every detail of observation and design. The direct, sensuous address of her seemingly effortless compositions belies their foundation in a geometric scaffolding of colors that approaches the abstract.
A four color, 24 page catalogue with an essay by Michael Brenson, was published by Kouros Gallery on the occasion of Biala's 1996 exhibition.
Selected One Person Exhibitions
Selected Public Collections