January 5, 2008

Painter Michael Goldberg dies in his studio

Michael Goldberg , an 83-year-old Abstract Expressionist and husband of artist Lynn Umlauf, died in his Bowery studio on Sunday, apparently of a heart attack. Grace Glueck writes in the NYTimes that 'Mr. Goldberg was a painter of strong convictions who in his youth was influenced by the gestural Abstract Expressionist mode of older painters like Kline, Still and de Kooning, and never abandoned it. The improvisational nature of jazz, which he admired, was also important to his work. Stuck like some of his peers with the label 'second-generation Abstract Expressionist,' Mr. Goldberg shrugged it off. 'Labels come and go,' he told Saul Ostrow, the art critic and writer, who was a close friend, in a 2001 interview for the magazine Bomb. 'It makes no difference to what you’re trying to do.' He saw abstract painting, he told Mr. Ostrow, as 'still the primary visual challenge of our time. It might get harder and harder to make an abstract image that’s believable, but I think that just makes the challenge greater.'" Goldberg's last show was at Knoedler & Company in September 2007.

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