Sigmund Abeles - Selected Biography

Sigmund Abeles was born 1934 in New York City and raised in South Carolina. His work deals with the expressive and psychological aspects of the figure; an art focused on the life cycle. Drawing informs all of his work. Abeles works in pastels, oils and the graphic media as well as sculpture. Currently Professor Emeritus from the University of New Hampshire, after 27 years of teaching, Abeles works full-time in his NYC and upstate NY studios. Recipient of numerous grants and awards, a National Academician; the work of Sigmund Abeles may be found in many public institutions including (among others) British Museum, Chicago Art Institute, Fogg Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art.

 

In 2000, a successful solo exhibition was held at Thomas Williams Fine Arts, Old Bond St., London, UK. In 2004, the Pastel Society of America in New York awarded him as their Hall of Fame Honoree.  In 2011, he was guest curator for An Artist’s Eye, an exhibition selected from the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina’s permanent collection of 20th & 21st Century art. Concurrently, It Figures, a solo exhibition of his work, was held at the Columbia Museum of Art. In the same year, another solo, Drawn to the Figure, was mounted at the Kalamazoo Art Institute.  In January 2012, Mr. Abeles was prominently featured in Manfred Kirchheimer’s feature length documentary, Art Is…The Permanent Revolution, focused on the methods of printmaking and the history of the art of protest in prints.

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Sigmund Abeles - Selected Biography

Born 1934

 

Education

Columbia University, NYC, MFA in Painting, 1957

Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME, summers 1955 & 1956

Brooklyn Museum School, Brooklyn, NY, Graphics, 1956

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, BA in Fine Arts, 1955

 

Teaching Positions

Art Students League of New York, 1997–2000

University New Hampshire, Durham, 1970–87, Full Prof./tenure, elected Prof. Emeritus 1987

Boston University, School of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Associate Prof., 1969–1970

Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Resident Artist, 1964–1969

Swain School of Design, New Bedford, MA, Instructor, 1961­–1964

 

Grants & Awards: partial list

Hall of Fame Honoree, Pastel Society of America, National Arts Club, 2004

Artist Residency Program, Chateau Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany, France, summer 2000

Honorary Doctorate of Arts Degree and commencement speaker, Coastal Carolina U., 2000

Florsheim Foundation Grant for pastel purchase to the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC, 1992

Florsheim Foundation Grant for retrospective catalog, 1987

American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize for Spring Morning, pastel, 1982

American Jewish Committee Academic Seminar in Israel, 1981–1982

Elected National Academician, National Academy of Design, NY, 1977

Louis Comfort Tifany Foundation Grant for Graphics, 1967

National Council of Arts & Humanities Sabbatical Grant, 1966

American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for etchings, 1965

 

Workshops: partial list

Master Class, Drypoint From the Figure, The New York Academy, NYC, 2013

Advanced Figure Workshop, The National Academy School, NYC, 1998 & 2004

Realist Symposium & Workshops, co-directed with Jack Beal, Henry Clews Foundation, La Napoule, France, summer, 1985

 

Solo Exhibitions: partial list

Sigmund Abeles, A Solo Exhibition with Selected Works, LARAC’S Lapham Gallery, Glens Falls, NY, 2013

 

Drawn to the Figure, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI, 2011

 

Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Prints, Drawings and Sculpture, Visual Arts Gallery, SUNY Adirondack, Queensbury, New York, 2011

 

It Figures, The Art of Sigmund Abeles, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC, curated by Todd Herman, 2011. This exhibition traveled to Hampton III Gallery, Greenville, SC and , The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, 2012–2013

 

Sigmund Abeles at 75, Celebrating Life and Art, The Culture Center, New York, NY, 2009  

 

Solo Exhibitions: partial list continued

Sigmund Abeles: Passionalte Lives, Passionate Lines, concurrent exhibitions, Park Row Gallery and the Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, NY, 2009

 

Sigmund Abeles: Prints, Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture, The Old Print Shop, NYC, catalog, 2008

 

Sigmund Abeles: From Whence I’ve Come, The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, catalog, with essay by Tom Johnson, 2007

 

An Intimate Look, Prints by Sigmund Abeles, McKissick Museum, Univ. of SC, Columbia, SC, July 16 - Sept. 17th, 2005

 

Sigmund Abeles, Now and Then, Hampton III Gallery, Greenville, SC, 2005

 

Sigmund Abeles - Pastels, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH, 2004–2005

 

Sigmund Abeles Drawings & Prints, The Drawing Studio, Tucson, AZ, 2003

 

Sigmund Abeles, Of Things to Come, Burroughs/Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, 2001

 

Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Dwgs, and Prints (1966-2000), Thomas Williams Fine Arts,

London, UK, catalog, 2000

 

Sigmund Abeles, The Artist and His Prints 1954-1999, Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME, catalog w/complete print listing, 1999

 

Sigmund Abeles: Paintings, Pastels, Prints & Dwgs., Hudson River Gallery, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1999

 

Paintings and Pastels, The Century Association, The President’s Room, NYC, 1999

 

Sigmund Abeles, concurrent solo exhibitions in Lowell MA: The New York Years, Recent Paintings, Drawings, and Earlier Sculpture, The Brush Art Gallery and Sigmund Abeles (1970–1994), The Whistler Museum of Art, 1998

 

The Observant Hand, 40 Years of Drawing by Sigmund Abeles, Pollock Gallery,

Southern Methodist U., Dallas TX, 1998, catalog

 

A 30 Year Retrospective of Drawings & Prints From the Collection of the Boston Public Library, 1993

 

Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Oils, Prints & Drawings, curated by Robert Doty, catalog preface by Charles Simic, traveling retrospective: The Manchester Institute of Arts, Manchester, NH;

New England College Gallery, Henniker, NH; McKissick Museum of Art, U. of SC, Columbia, SC; The Fine Arts Center/Cheekwood, Nashville, TN; Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina U., Greenville, NC; Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, catalog 1992–1993

 

The Max Drawings, An Artist/Father Draws His Premature Son to Health: 1985–1992,

13 sites including:  The Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH, The Trition Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, The Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC, Yeshiva Univ. Museum of Art, NYC, Univ. of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, The Shere Zadik Hospital Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

 

Sigmund Abeles, Retrospective, Drawings, Sculpture, Pastels & Prints, University Art Gallery,

 

UNH, Durham, NH, 1988

 

 

Solo Exhibitions: partial list continued

Sigmund Abeles Pastels, Recent Works, Barridoff Galleries, Portland, ME, 1984

 

Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Mary Ryan Gallery, NYC, 1983

 

Sigmund Abeles, Recent Pastels, Impressions Gallery, Boston, 1981

 

Abeles: The First 20 Years, Prints & Drawings, traveling exhibition, 1979–1981,

five sites including: Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, U. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NB;

University Art Galleries, U. of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK; Weatherspoon Art Gallery, U. of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC; Albrecht Art Museum, St. Joseph, MO, catalog

 

Recent Drawings, traveling exhibition: U. of NH, Durham, NH; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswich, ME; De Cordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA, 1971–1972, catalog

 

Prints and Drawings, Jewett Art Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley MA 1966

 

 

Two Person Exhibitions: partial list

Uncommon Expressions: The Drawings of Sigmund Abeles and Jerome Witkin, Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC, 2008

 

The Figure Drawn: Works on Paper by Sigmund Abeles and Philip Grausman, Union College, Schenectady, New York, 2004

 

Between Life and Death, Sigmund Abeles: The Max Drawings & Deidre Scherer: The Last Year, Newton Free Library, Newton, MA, 1988

 

Sigmund Abeles and Lotte Jacobi, AVA Gallery, Hanover, NH, 1983

 

 

Group Exhibitions: partial list

Take Home a Nude, New York Academy of Art benefit auction, Sotheby’s New York, 2013

 

The Art of Influence, Asian Propganda, British Museum, London, UK, 2013

 

Unadored: Drawings of the Nude from the Pollock Works on Paper Study Collection by Four Artists: Sigmund Abeles, Lois Dodd, Nathan Oliveira, and John Lincoln, Pollack Gallery, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 2012

 

The Figure in Contemporary Art, Cypress Colledge Art Gallery, Cypress CA, 2012

 

War and Remembrance, Univeristy of New Hampshire Museum of Art, Durham, NH, 2010

 

Humanity: 100 Years of Figurative Art, ACA Galleries, NYC, 2009

 

Drawing Today, New Arts Gallery, Litchfield CT, 2005

 

Memorials of War, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, 2004

 

100 Years/100 Artists, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC, 2004

 

 

Group Exhibitions: partial list continued

The Art of Aging, Artists from Israel, England and North America, Hebrew Union College, NYC, curated by Laura Kruger, catalog, 2003–2004. Traveled to: Atlanta Jewish Community Center, Dunwoody, GA; Rubin Gallery, Boca Raton, FL, 2004

 

Recent Aquitions of American Prints, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, 1999

 

Artists/Mentors, Denise Bibro Gallery, NYC, 1999

 

Psychologically Charged: Sigmund Abeles, Gregory Gillespie, Paul Matthews, Jerome Witkin, U. of VT, Burlington, VT, 1996 & SUNY Plattsburg, NY, 1997

 

Collecting For a College, Gifts From David P. Becker, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, 1995

 

Self-aMUSED: The Contemporary Artist as Observer and Observed, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, 1993

 

Figure Drawings: Sigmund Abeles, Sidney Goodman & Jody Mussoff, Atrium Gallery, U. of CT, Storrs, CT, 1992

 

With Nothing On, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, 1990

 

Fools For Love: Contemporary Erotic Art, Weir Gallery, Berkeley, CA, 1989

 

Man-Woman-Child, John Szoke Gallery, NYC, 1989

 

Works on Paper: Abeles, Basilitz, Chia, Dine, Harris & Mazur, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,

MA, 1988

 

The Animal Kingdom, Associated American Artists Galleries, NYC, 1986

 

Prints USA, Pratt Graphic Center, NYC, 1982

 

Exhibition of Works by Newly Elected Members and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC, purchase prize, 1982

 

Contemporary American Realism: Drawings, Boston Atheneum Gallery, Boston, MA, 1982

 

The Figure Observed Contemporary Life Drawings, College of Fine Arts, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, 1982

 

Contemporary American Realism on Paper from the Collection of Jalane & Richard Davidson, Penn. Academy of Fine Arts & Chicago Art Institute, 1982

 

American Portrait Drawings, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, 1980

 

A Selection of American Art, The Skowhegan School, 1946–1976, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, 1976

 

Living American Artists & The Figure, Penn. State U. Museum of Art, Univ. Park, PA, 1974

 

16 American Artists of Protest, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, 1971  

 

Group Exhibitions: partial list continued

American Contemporary Prints, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK, 1970

 

Human Concerns/Personal Torment, Whitney Museum, NYC, 1969

 

Drawings by Young Americans, Ogunquit Museum of Art, Ogunquit, ME, 1969

 

28 American Printmakers, Rijksacademie, Amsterdam, Holland, 1968

 

Protest & Hope, New School for Social Research, NYC, 1967

 

Whitney Annual, Sculpture & Prints, NYC, 1966

 

New Talent in Printmaking, AAA Galleries, NYC, 1965

 

Exhibition of Works by Newly Elected Members and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC, (award), 1965

 

Film:

Abeles was prominently featured as “the etcher” in Manfred Kirchheimer’s feature length documentary, Art Is…The Permanent Revolution, focused on the methods of print making and the history of the art of protest in prints. Premiered at the Quad Theater, NYC, 2012

 

Permanent Collections; partial list

Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, CA

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME

Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

British Museum, London, UK

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, OH

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME

Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH

Fitzwilliams Museum, Oxford, UK

Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Semitic Museum, Cambridge, MA

Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, HI

Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

Judah Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN

Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY

Museo de Arte, Ponce, PR

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Museum of Modern Art, NYC

National Academy of Design, NYC

 

Permanent Collections; partial list cont.

Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

New York Public Library, NYC

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philidelphia, PA

Philidelphia Museum of Art, Philidelphia, PA

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA

Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

 

Private Collections: partial list

Albert and Kate Merck, MA

Alfred Brendel, London, UK

Anna Kate and Hayne Hipp, SC

Anne Cohen Esq., NYC

Bill & Doborah Binnell, NYC & CT

Clare Henry & Philip Bruno, NYC

Curtis & Jackeye Finch, AR

David Henderson, SC

Dr. Alfonso Pluchinotta, Italy

Edwin & Thayer Hockberg, NYC

Eric Greenleaf, NYC

George Dean Johnson, SC

Hal & Barbara Laeger, NJ

Joe & Bernice Tanenbaum, NY

Joe Yohlin, PA

John & Lisa Hall, NYC

Joseph Fuery & Lee Grant, NYC

Ken Pollard, NY

Kit & Geraldine Laybourne, NY

Linda & Douglas Honnold, IL

Mrs. Frank H. Pearl, DC & NYC

Neil Feitag, Paris, France

Nora Lavori, NYC

Richard Davidson, IL

Robert Henry and Nancy Wu, NY

Ron Ruble, WI

Thomas Williams, UK

Udo and Iris Bensch, Switzerland

Walter and Sanra Wilkie, NYC

Wende Caporale & Daniel Greene, CT

William Carl, NC

Yasuteru Miyamoto, Japan

 

Representation

The Old Print Shop, NYC

Hampton III Gallery, SC

Davidson Galleries, WA