April 18, 2008

Modernist Joseph Solman dead at 99

"Joseph Solman, a painter who, with Mark Rothko and other modernists, helped shape American art as early as the 1930s and, into a new century, continued to paint in his studio above the Second Avenue Deli in New York, died on Wednesday at his home in Manhattan," Michael Kimmelman writes in the NY Times obituary. "He was 99. Having visited a gallery and, along with a friend, washed down a light dinner with Scotch in Midtown, Mr. Solman died in his sleep, his son, Paul, said." Read more.

In the Boston Globe, Mark Feeney writes that Solman was known for portraits, but he also painted still lifes, bathers, landscapes, and other genres. The one constant throughout his career was an attachment to figuration. "I like artists who are moved by subject matter," Mr. Solman said in 1998. "That's why I never went for abstraction. The subject has more interest than any shape we might invent. I take what's out there, and that's what lights up my imagination." Read more.

Related posts:
Joseph Solman: last surviving member of "The Ten"
Images of his work: "Paintings from the WPA," Mercury Gallery, Boston, MA. Artists include Herman Rose, Louis Schanker and Joseph Solman. Sept. 15-Oct 9, 2007.

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