Transcript: 76 p.
An interview of Roland Reiss conducted 1997 Aug. 23-1999 June 11, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Reiss' studio, Los Angeles, Calif.
A fairly lengthy discussion of UCLA included an account of studying with Jan Stussy, a Stanton Macdonald-Wright disciple, and with Macdonald-Wright himself, who took a special interest in Reiss. He also singled out as a major influence Clinton Adams who, with Macdonald-Wright, served as a model of the intellectual artist who embodied rigorous thinking and a search for meaning through critique of language. Additional topics were the difference between the San Francisco and Los Angeles art worlds, the impact of abstract expressionism and of his own paper on the subject delivered to the UCLA faculty, which Reiss remembers as the introduction of abstract expressionism at the university. After a discussion of his teaching experience in Colorado and pioneering work with plastics, Reiss recalled his interaction there with leading artists including Joan Brown, Nancy Graves, David Hockney, Clyfford Still (with whom Reiss had daily conversations), and William T. Wiley. The third session focused on his long teaching career at Claremont and an in-depth discussion of various art programs in the country and the philosophies involved. In effect, this concluding part of the interview was a history of art education and the training of artists in California presented by someone whose entire career has been connected to educational institutions.