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David Anfam

(Rowe)

(b Wilkes-Barre, PA, May 23, 1910; d New York, May 13, 1962).

American painter. His first academic training was at Boston University from 1931 to 1935 and in London at the Heatherley School of Art from 1937 to 1938 as an illustrator and draughtsman. Two main tendencies emerged at an early stage that would later develop into a powerful contribution to the ‘gestural’ trend within Abstract Expressionism. Numerous small graphics, sketches, and oils and the mural series Hot Jazz (Norfolk, VA, Chrysler Mus.), painted for a New York bar in 1940, reveal an interest in translating animated subjects into quick, rudimentary strokes. Kline admired and found inspiration in a wide range of artists notable for their fluency in handling paint, including Rembrandt, Goya, Manet, Sargent, and Whistler. By contrast, an inclination to compose in terms of simplified areas was derived from academic training and perhaps also reflected Kline’s memories of his native Pennsylvania’s coal-mining region, with its stark scenery, locomotives, and similar massive mechanical shapes, to which the titles of his later abstract images sometimes referred. ...

Article

Jure Mikuž

(b Velika Pisanica, nr Bjelovar, May 4, 1921; d Zagreb, Jan 2, 2005).

Croatian painter, printmaker, stage designer, graphic designer and illustrator. Before World War II he studied at the Zagreb Academy. In 1943 he joined the partisan forces where he founded, together with another painter Zlatko Prica (1916–2002), an engraver’s printshop and edited a portfolio of prints in illustration of the epic poem Pit by I. G. Kovačić. In 1951 he abandoned his Post-Impressionist style of painting Adriatic landscapes after a stay in the USA and Canada. In 1953 he exhibited in Belgrade and Zagreb the cycle Experience of America (1950–51), which contained about 30 paintings and was greatly criticized. These pictures (now Zagreb, Gal. Mod. A. and Mun. A. G.; Belgrade, Min. Foreign Affairs; priv. cols) conveyed impressions of American megalopoles such as Pittsburgh and New York in the manner of American Abstract Expressionism. Mimetic elements began to disappear from his work, and by the late 1950s Murtić developed his own dramatic brushwork. Around ...

Article

(b New York, Dec 31, 1922; d Ioannina, Greece, Feb 2, 1997).

American painter and illustrator. Born of Greek immigrant parents, he was awarded a scholarship to the American Artists’ School in New York, where he studied sculpture under Simon Kennedy and Joseph Konzal (1905–94). Abandoning sculpture, he began to devote himself to painting in 1939, a medium in which he was entirely self-taught. In 1941 he opened a framing shop in New York, which he ran until 1948. There he met Arshile Gorky and Fernand Léger and also framed several pictures by Paul Klee for the Nierendorf Gallery. He had his first one-man show in 1943 at Betty Parsons’s Wakefield Gallery in New York. That year he also met Adolph Gottlieb and Barnett Newman and in 1947 Mark Rothko, Kurt Seligmann, and Mark Tobey. His paintings of the 1940s drew on a variety of sources including mythology, natural forms, and Oriental calligraphy and were executed in a rough textural manner. ...