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Greater Egret

Friday, February 7, 2020

Polia Pillin

A few of you have asked about my great flea market find. Rather than keep you in the dark or guessing, here they are:



These are two giant wall plaques by the late Los Angeles artist Polia Pillin (1909-1992). Pillin was an artist who was born in Poland and emigrated to this country in 1924. She eventually met and married the Ukrainian poet William Pillin, who became her lifelong companion and co artist. In the depression era she worked for the WPA and painted watercolors.

She had her first notable exhibition in San Francisco in 1939 at the San Francisco Art Association and then two at the Chicago Art Institute in 1947 and 1948. She learned the craft of making pottery in Chicago in 1946. She went on to have a very storied career and exhibition history and she enjoyed a very loyal and devoted following.

Pillin was known for her fanciful decorations, which on occasion included fish, birds, horses and women amongst other things. Her style was a little bit reminiscent of Marc Chagall.


These plaques may be the largest Pillin plaques to have ever been produced or to come on to the market, both approximately 17" square and in plexiglass shadowboxes. My expert friends have never seen work this large.


They should be perfect for the Palm Springs Modernism Show next week. I like them both very much and hope to find them a new home there. I also have a nice large ceramic wall plaque from the seminal Arizona artist Edwin Scheier (1910-2008) that should fit very well with them stylistically.

If you can make it to Palm Springs it is a wonderful show with a lot of energy. The whole town is pumping for modernism week. I hope to see you there. I will be bringing a wide assortment of paintings to fit any wall or budget.