Painting

Eric Fischl's early works were large-scale abstract paintings. While teaching in Nova Scotia, Fischl began to shift from abstraction to smaller, image-oriented paintings, beginning with narrative works that investigated a fisherman's family. By the time Fischl left Halifax the narrative element was gone, but the subject of family melodrama remained. In the '80s Fischl's large figurative paintings, aggressive in their confrontation with the viewer, began to receive attention.

Painter and multi-media artist Jack Goldstein lived and worked in New York City. His airbrushed paintings of lightning and night skies are shown here accompanied by synthetic music, which the artist also composed. Goldstein committed suicide in 2003.

Interviewed by Jim Johnson.

Nancy Graves (1939-1995) was a New York sculptor, painter, and filmmaker who used natural history as a reference for dealing with the relationships between time, space, and form.

In this interview she discusses her transition from a static form (sculpture) to a moving form (film), and finally, to painting.  “The making of it and the viewing of it are the areas with which I’m most concerned, because I’m an artist, not a philosopher,” Graves says in this interview with Kate Horsfield.

Douglas Hollis (b.1948) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and continued to live there throughout the years of his college education at the University of Michigan. From an early age he had a deep interest in Native American culture. His experiences traveling in Oklahoma to live with Indian families has strongly influenced his life and his art ever since. Hollis began working with natural phenomena and responsive environment structures in the later part of the 1960's. At that time he completed several projects with musicians, dancers, film makers, engineers, and physicists.

Taped shortly after the creation of the Air Gallery, this conversation between painter Howardena Pindell and Hermine Freed concerns the women’s independent gallery and its role in the feminist movement. Pindell also discusses the development of her work and the relation between black artists and the art world.

Robert Irwin (b. 1928, Long Beach, California)  followed in the Abstract Expressionist tradition until he shifted his focus onto installation projects that play upon site-specific uses of light. Since the 1980s, he has created large-scale public space designs that use natural light, plants, and garden architecture.

Miyoko Ito was known as an “abstract surrealist.” Her paintings are landscape-based abstractions of very intense subtleties of structure and color.  Ito was born to Japanese parents in Berkeley, CA in 1918. She studied art at the University of California at Berkeley for a short time until she was imprisoned in a Japanese-American camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Ito continued her education in prison, after which she attended Smith College. She was then given a scholarship to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was in Chicago that Ito's career as an artist flourished, where she explored cubism and latent abstraction in her works. Ito remained in Chicago until her death in 1983.

American figurative artist Alex Katz (b.1927) has produced a remarkable and impressive body of work but is best known for his large-scale, flat, yet realistic portraits of friends and family notable for their relaxed attitudes and uncomplicated bearing. In the early 1960s, influenced by films, television, and billboard advertising, Katz began painting large-scale paintings, often with dramatically cropped faces.Utilizing characteristically wide brushstrokes, large swathes of color, and refined compositions, Katz created what art historian Robert Storr called "a new and distinctive type of r

Joyce Kozloff was at the forefront of the 1970s pattern and decoration movement—a feminist effort to incorporate typically “feminine” and popular decorative arts into the fine arts. She has been involved with public art and murals for more than two decades. In this video, Kozloff prepares and installs her mural Around the World on the 44th Parallel, which features sections of maps from 12 cities around the world on the same latitude. The work was constructed at the Tile Guild in Los Angeles and installed at the library at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

At nineteen, Barbara Kruger (b. 1945) worked as a commercial artist designing for Conde Nast. The risky combination of contemporary art, commercial appeal and social critique runs throughout Kruger’s photography, readings, poetry, collages, and conversation. Her works uses advertising both as a foil and a format. Language and image work together, referencing the manipulations of the advertising media.

A celebrated landscape painter hypnotizes through brush stroke and voice.

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

Originally from Canada, Agnes Martin (1912-2004) moved to the U.S. in 1931. Martin lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1954 to 1957, and then moved to New York, where she established her name as an important minimalist painter.

Originally from Canada, Agnes Martin (1912-2004) moved to the U.S. in 1931. Martin lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1954 to 1957 and then moved to New York, where she established her name as an important minimalist painter. Her work differed conceptually from the minimalist movement in that it was anti-intellectual and intensely spiritual, and her grids represented meditative reflections on Taoism.

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) was a "second generation" abstract expressionist painter and printmaker.  She was an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement, and one of the few female painters to gain critical and public acclaim in the era.

Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007)  was an American painter, printmaker and draughtsman.  She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1958–62) and at Mills College, Oakland, CA (1962–4). Elizabeth Murray’s paintings have been referred to as “dandyish abstraction.” Her work is distinctive in its use of color, shape, and surface to evoke human characteristics, personalities or humor. Murray is particularly well known for her shaped canvases, which date from 1976, on to which are painted both figurative and non-figurative elements.

Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007)  was an American painter, printmaker and draughtsman.  She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1958–62) and at Mills College, Oakland, CA (1962–4). Elizabeth Murray’s paintings have been referred to as “dandyish abstraction.” Her work is distinctive in its use of color, shape, and surface to evoke human characteristics, personalities or humor. Murray is particularly well known for her shaped canvases, which date from 1976, on to which are painted both figurative and non-figurative elements.

Alice Neel (1900-1984) is known for portrait paintings of well-known persons and eccentric New York street types. Neel worked as a figurative painter throughout the decades of WPA realism, postwar abstract expressionism, 1960s Pop, and 1970s minimalism. She persevered in her work despite a turbulent personal life and critical neglect that continued until the 1960s. Neel lived and worked in New York City from 1932 until her death in 1984.

In this 2004 interview, Kori Newkirk (b.1970) describes his lifelong apprehension of being rooted in any one place for too long. Asserting that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was the fifth school he attended in four years, Newkirk begins by describing the fortuitousness of his relocation to Chicago following his expulsion from Cooper Union. Recounting how he fled from the fiber department in favor of painting, Newkirk details how it was a studio visit from Deborah Kass and an exchange program to England that crystallized his burgeoning ideas about “painting without making paintings.”

In this interview, Kori Newkirk (b.1970) describes his interest in the space that exists between categories. Hailing from the Bronx, earning a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and finally settling on Los Angeles as his base of operations, Newkirk has always been motivated by a desire to eschew provincialism. In this conversation, he discusses the idea of regional identity, his complex relationship with the Los Angeles art community, and how his experience as a student at SAIC helped him move beyond the boundaries of a simple material definition of painting.

Toxic pigments of lust stain an artist’s brush as he struggles against lurid colors on the canvas of his life, – a "life" in brick jungles wit sordid, dark alleys on neon-lit avenues where he got lost… Will he, can he, find a new, unsoiled canvas on which to paint a better life?

Polish-American arist Ed Paschke (1939-2004) received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1961 and his MFA in 1970. Paschke was known as a member of the late-1960s Chicago Imagist movement, a group of artists who called themselves The Hairy Who, whose expressive style of figurative painting was rooted in outsider art, popular culture, and Surrealism. Paschke's fascination with the print media of popular culture led to a portrait-based art of cultural icons. Paschke used the celebrity figure, real or imagined, as a vehicle for explorations of personal and public identity with social and political implications. 

Philip Pearlstein (b.1924) began painting figures in the 1960s and is known as a leading figure in American Realism. Throughout his career, Pearlstein's paintings evolved from an expressionistic style to a meticulously analytical vision. His work attempts to present the model as a documentation of the painting session, and his paintings are closely rendered under the existing studio lighting.  Attuned to art history, Pearlstein is as interested in pattern and composition as he is in the body itself.

Since the early 1970s, Rackstraw Downes has committed himself to painting from observation, on site, from start to finish. He has painted both urban and rural landscapes, as well as interior spaces, in New York, Texas, and Maine. Although he paints exactly what he sees, through his labor ordinary sites become transformed into extraordinary scenes. 

Milton Resnick was born in Bratslav, Russia in 1917, and immigrated to the United States in 1922. Resnick was one of the few survivors of the second generation Abstract Expressionists, and is known for his large, thickly painted abstract canvases. Like other painters of the time, Resnick was striving for an overall quality to his paintings, a way to unite the foreground and background. While others moved toward throwing or dragging quantities of paint across the face of the canvas, Resnick retained a particularly personal and impassioned relation to brush painting.

Painter, Susan Rothenberg (b.1945) is known for her poetic, atmospheric images. From her early horse paintings to her paintings of athletes and dancers, Rothenberg's works have always been subservient to the flatness and objectivity of her gesturally dense surfaces. In her paintings, image and surface combine in a private symbolism and restrained drama that is physically and emotionally intrusive. Rothenberg currently lives and works in New Mexico.