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From the time Bishop opened her first New York studio on 14th Street in 1926, the passing crowd of shop clerks, offices workers and loafers provided constant subjects for her figurative work, whom she distilled down to their essential lines in a battery of drawings before beginning a painting or an etching.
"The grand, the heroic draftsmen then [Rubens, Michelangelo, Raphael] had better be the models, though one’s aim be far from heroic and grand. With their august help, one might learn to lay one’s traps and spread one’s nets to snare the subject matter of one’s own intuition and life experience, however special and small."
— Isabel Bishop