Esphyr Slobodkina, Levitator (1950), oil on gessoed plywood
LewAllen Galleries, 1613 Paseo de Peralta, 505-988-3250, lewallengalleries.com
In a career that spanned 70 years, Russian-American artist Esphyr Slobodkina (1908-2002) championed American abstraction. She emigrated from Russia during the Russian Revolution and became a key player in the New York art scene during the 1930s. Slobodkina and her contemporaries rejected the regionalism and social realist art that dominated the artistic landscape of pre-war America. Her work became a precursor to what would become known as Hard-Edge abstraction. The organization she co-founded, American Abstract Artists, is one of the few pre-war artists groups still active in the 21st century. An exhibition of her paintings, collages, and sculptures opens with a 5 p.m. reception on Friday, Dec. 27 (through Feb. 15).