Friday, April 18, 2008

Joseph Solman dies

Joseph Solman, a New York painter who was among the last living ties to the generation of American artists who pioneered American modernism and helped New York supplant Paris at the avant garde art capital of the world, died Wednesday at age 99.

Solman, who began summering at Cape Ann in the 1950s and maintained a summer home in Gloucester, formed The Ten with Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, among others, in 1935. They were a group of artists who challenged the conservatism they saw in American art then.

Throughout his life, Solman resisted art world orthodoxy – abstracting before it was acceptable, and later maintaining an expressionist realist style when it was no longer cool to do so.

“I need a subject,” he told me in 2004. “The advantage of subject matter is you can dig into it.”

The New York Times obit.