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The Bridge Between

The Bridge Between, 1967, Acrylic on Shaped Canvas
Reva Urban (American, 1925 – 1987)

American artist Reva Urban is known for her exploration of gender and sexuality through her "shaped canvas" pieces (from the 1960s). These artworks blur the line between painting and sculpture, and feature vivid colors and dynamic shapes that defy the rigid edges of a traditional rectangular canvas. Born in Coney Island, New York, Urban moved to Manhattan at the age of sixteen and trained at the Art Students League on a Carnegie Scholarship. Originally working in an Abstract Expressionist mode, the artist transitioned to her shaped canvas style in the early 1960s. Urban strove for commercial success in an industry dominated by men, while also facing off against the hugely popular pop art movement. Even though her paintings are often overlooked in the mainstream history of art, her innovations influenced many artists. In her shaped canvas pieces like The Bridge Between, Urban demonstrates her bold and captivating artistic method and style.