"Woman on the Sofa", 1980
Silkscreen print on paper
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Collection
Gift of the Las Vegas Art Museum, 2021; Gift of anonymous donor, 2008.
Phyllis Sloane used a multitude of printmaking techniques to reimagine the everyday world as a shifting, interlocking puzzle of colors, patterns, and shapes. Born in Worchester, Massachusetts, she earned a BA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University (then the Carnegie Institute of Technology) in 1943. After graduation she co-founded PDA, a design firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. Her industrial design training helped her to develop a sense for the “placing of objects” that she identified as the most significant part of her work. “The thing that challenges and excites me most in my work is the placing of objects on a given surface," she said. "There are wonderful shapes wherever one looks; they only need selecting, combining, and organizing.”
Initially influenced by the abstract expressionists, she adopted a more realistic approach to image-making in the 1960s. Like some of her peers, most notably Will Barnet and Alex Katz, she experimented with the possibilities of representing the human figure as a series of flattened and differentiated forms. Sloane drew and painted, but she is best known for her broad exploration of printmaking, which included silkscreen, lithography, etching monotype, cork prints, and various methods of electrostatic copier/heat transfer printing.
Her work has been shown across the United States, with exhibitions at the Hudson River Museum, New York, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, the California College of Arts and Crafts, California, and a retrospective at the Las Vegas Art Museum in 2004. Sloane passed away in 2009 at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Image description: A silkscreen print of a woman with shoulder-length brown hair lounging on a sofa. She lies against a row of pillows and faces straight forward with her elbow propped up on the armrest. The pillows are covered with contrasting patterns. The wall behind the sofa is red with a pattern of wavy lines and flowers. In the foreground, a woven red and black banded basket sits on a red table draped in red and white striped fabric.