Found 2,786 Resources
Turner speaks of his childhood in Brooklyn, N.Y.; his father's business, Turner Concrete (now called Turner Construction); drawing classes; attending the George School for a post-graduate year before attending Swarthmore College, where his major was economics; the importance of Quakerism in his life and work; traveling throughout Europe and the Southwestern United States; his marriage to Sue, their trip to Europe during the outbreak of World War II and the difficulty of coming home to America; his involvement in war activities as a conscientious objector; the transition after the war ended into a "different reality"; visiting the different schools of craft, including Penland, Alfred, and Haystack; attending Alfred University, the teachers and students there during his years there; his relationships with other students, such as Ted Randall and Bill Schickel; teaching at Black Mountain College immediately after his graduation from Alfred; his admiration of Marguerite Wildenhain; his involvement in the first Super Mud phenomenon in 1966; how African culture fits into his work; the collaborative effort at Penland; the establishment of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and his experience as the third president of the group; his "retirement" since 1979; the types of materials he uses; the awards he has received; galleries and exhibitions in which he has exhibited; and recollections of Bill Brown, founder of the Penland School of Crafts. Turner also recalls Josie Adams, Charles Harder, Kurt Ekdahl, Marion Fosdick, Bill Pitney, Jessie Shefrin, and others.
Uhler speaks of her background and education; becoming involved with the Public Works of Art Project working on a mural project for the public library in Houston; going to work for the Museum of Fine Arts; the history of the Museum; the growth of its collection; the Index of American Design; the importance of the Museum of Fine Arts to the community.
Vachon speaks of how he started on the Farm Security Administration project; getting started as an FSA photographer; helping to organize the photograph file; early assignments as a photographer; the influence of Walker Evans; making decisions about the subject matter of the photographs; the growth of the FSA project; the difference between being a photographer for LOOK magazine and for the FSA; his philosophy of photography; and his most memorable experiences with the FSA. He recalls Roy Stryker.
An interview of Kathy Vargas conducted 1997 November 7-25, by Jacinto Quirarte, in San Antonio, Texas, for the Archives of American Art.
Vazquez-Pacheco speaks of his childhood in South Bronx housing projects; members and dynamics of his family growing up; experiences and discourses of religion, race, gender, sexuality, reading, and the arts as a child and adolescent; attending SUNY Oswego for one year; an existentially pivotal year in Miami in 1975; returning to New York in 1976, immersing himself in Latino gay culture, and being exposed to white gay culture; living in Hempstead, New York for two years with a boyfriend, and beginning to paint again; working at Chase Manhattan Bank and volunteering for the Gay Switchboard in New York City in the late '70s; the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; caring for his boyfriend, Jeff, who died of AIDS in 1986; the particular experience and effect of HIV on communities of color and low-income communities; mounting societal homophobia during the epidemic; leading Gay Circles, a gay men's consciousness-raising group, in the late '80s; his involvement in ACT UP, and burgeoning political consciousness, after Jeff's death; activism as a creative outlet; working at different times with the People With AIDS health group, the Anti-Violence Project, the Minority AIDS Taskforce, Latino Gay Men of New York, Minority AIDS Coalition in Philadelphia, and LLEGO in Washington; AIDS activism's failure to think intersectionally and build coalitions; his involvement in Gran Fury; becoming a more prolific writer, and getting involved with Other Countries, in the early '90s; Gran Fury's 2011 retrospective; the need for racial diversity and representation in activism and the art world; white flight from AIDS activism following the arrival of protease inhibitors; personal frustrations with the current AIDS activism discourse and nonprofit organizational complex, and the general cultural conversation about HIV/AIDS; contrasting representations of AIDS activism in How to Survive a Plague and BPM; and the essential role of art in AIDS activism. Vazquez-Pacheco also recalls Mark Simpson, Craig Metroka, David Kirschenbaum, Maxine Wolfe, Avram Finkelstein, Deb Levine, Charles King, Robert Garcia, Ortez Alderson, Derek Hodel, Gregg Bordowitz, Michael Callen, Carl George, Joey Walsh, Matt Foreman, Vito Russo, Larry Kramer, Tom Kalin, Marlene McCarty, Charles Rice-González, George Ayala, Essex Hemphill, Manolo Guzmán, Donald Moffett, Cladd Stevens, Richard Elovich, Loring McAlpin, Michael Nesline, Peter Staley, David France, Andrew Miller, and others.
Vevers speaks of being sent by his parents to the United States in 1940; secondary schooling in Madison, Connecticut and at the Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut (1944); serving in the U.S. Army infantry in Europe, 1944-1946; attending Yale University on the GI Bill and graduating with a BA in painting and drawing, 1950; further art training in Florence, Italy and at the Hans Hofmann School, NYC (1950-1953); his marriage to Elspeth Halvorsen, fellow artist, 1953; his studies in Italy; the unexciting nature of contemporary Italian art; contemporary art in Paris, where Picasso impressed him but work of Hans Hartung and (Marie Elena) Vieira da Silva did not; studying with Hans Hofmann; working at the non-profit City Center Gallery, which was designed to give younger artists exposure through juried exhibitions; and living in poverty in NYC and Provincetown until 1963. Vevers also recalls Tom Blagden, Alfred Stieglitz, Deane Keller, Rudolph Zallinger, Claes Oldenburg, Stephen Pace, Lawrence Calcagno, Hans Hofmann, Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, Jack Levine, Franz Kline, Louise Nevelson, Max Weber, Richard Lippold, and others.
Vignelli speaks of his youth and early start in art design and architecture; his early work at Catiglione architects at the age of 16; his father; his education; meeting his favorite architects; his influences; architecture and design magazines; organic and rationalist architecture in Italy; influence of Ignazio Gardella; Adolf Loos' idea of spoon to the city; European, American, and Italian architecture; education in Milan; his work with Venini Glass; Italian design; his early graphic work; design and vulgarity; marriage and working with Lella Vignelli; graphic design work at the Container Corporation; concept of design as a whole; his work on corporate identities; his establishment of Vignelli Associates; introduction and use of Helvetica in the United States; working with Knoll; choosing clients; design and culture; his work on St. Peter's Lutheran Church; design work for the United States National Parks newspaper design and layout; Unimark; timelessness and design; working with Poltrona Frau, Zero Labor design; major influences; his work for the United States Postal Service; connectivity and context in architecture; his clothing designs and historical perspectives on clothing; postmodernism; his work on the New York Subway; design work before and after computers; Japanese architecture and design; his work as a teacher; Oliviero Toscani and working for Benetton; America and international design; modernism and the office building; modern design and furniture; a timeline of his career; the Vignelli Center at RIT and archiving. Vignelli also recalls, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Giuseppe Terragni, Giuseppe Pagano, Domus, Gió Ponti, Metron, Bruno Zevi, Ignazio Gardella, Ray and Charles Eames, Giancarlo De Carlo, Venini Glass, Carlo Scarpa, Ralph Eckerstrom, Umberto Eco, Sansoni Publishing House, Vignelli Associates, Walter Kacik, Helvetica, Knoll, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, National Parks, New York Herald, Unimark, Lella Vignelli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Poltrona Frau, Dieter Rams, Louis Kahn, Stendig Calendar, A to Z, Salon de Mobile, Michael Graves, Robert Venturi, Oliviero Toscani, Benetton, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and the Vignelli Center.
Villa discusses his "progress" from Filipino background to his art world identity; the phenomena and individuals who contributed to the new awareness in the mid-1970s: "El Movimiento," Chicano "Rasquache," Rupert Garcia, Amalia Mesa-Baines; the idea of "recuperation," and the sense of Asian-American identity and community as a basis for his art. Villa recalls growing up in San Francisco; his early life; living in the Tenderloin district and his exposure to racism; the influence of his cousin, artist Leo Valledor; growing up Filipino in California and the difficulties that accompanied it. Villa discusses popular (black) culture, jazz "guapo," zoot-suit style as role models and basis for aesthetic/art; his admiration for black self-esteem; his aesthetics; viewing art as a way out of the ghetto and an escape from racism.
Villa discusses his introduction to the California School of Fine Arts (soon thereafter the San Francisco Art Institute); his need to be part of the artist community; CSFA and other students and teachers; and his self-conception as a modernist. He discusses the technical aspects of his art; the influence of various Bay Area artists on his work; his investigation of Filipino art history and his role models; the role of the women at the CSFA and women as role models. Villa recalls his first show at Pointdexter in New York; his associations with minimalists and the Park Place Gallery group; his New York minimalist phase and his need to escape the New York environment after six years. He discusses his return to the Bay Area and his use of identity/politics as subjects for his art.
Villa recalls or mentions Rupert Garcia, Leo Valledor, Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Bill Morehouse, David Stone Martin, Wallace Berman, William Wiley, Bob and Dona Hudson, Bill Allen, Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, Ralph DuCass, Walter Kuhlman, Wally Hedrick, Bruce Conner, Alvin Light, Claire Falkenstein, Bob McFarlane, Hayter, Tapies, Fred Martin, Nathan Oliveira, Jennifer Bartlett, Dick Maclean, Elizabeth Murray, Alfred Neumeyer, Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, Sol Lewitt, Mark di Suvero, Robert Grovesnor, Tom Seligman, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Rauschenberg, Angela Davis, and Moira Roth.
Von Moschzisker speaks about her background and education; cataloging the John S. Phillips print collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; her tenure as director of the Print Club of Philadelphia, including editions published for the club by Leonard Baskin and others; print workshops including Prints in Progress run by Stanley William Hayter; the Print Club Permanent Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; supporters of the club; and the status of prints within the Philadelphia art community.
Walker discusses his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama and Chicago, Illinois; painting murals in Memphis; the Chicago Mural Group, the Wall of Respect in Chicago, the Wall of Dignity in Detroit and other murals; subject matter and use of black historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Elijah Muhammad; use of narrative; public response to the murals; and artists he worked with including Eugene Edaw, Mark Rogovin, John Weber and Mitchell Caton.
WalkingStick speaks of her childhood experiences and her parents; her grandfather Simon Ridge Walkingstick and jurisprudence; Dartmouth and Indian scholarships; how her parents met; her mother as a big influence; drawing and art in the family; her siblings; Syracuse; outdoors; Onondaga Valley; painting; winning a Scholastic Art Award; moving to Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania; attending Beaver; the 1950s; Pratt; review in Artnews; Danforth Foundation; Christianity; the women's movement; Cannabis Gallery; Native American heritage; Teepee Form and Chief Joseph; using wax; Dawes Commission; influences and artists; Catholicism; Italy; Bowling Green; sketchbooks; eroticism; Edward Albee's summer camp; Wenger Gallery; The Cardinal Points; being biracial; spirituality; Rome; abstraction and patterns; Il Cortile; Cairo; traveling; teaching; Cornell; Stony Brook; photography; technology; social and political commentary in art; changes to artwork over time; landscapes; mountains and the Rockies; Colorado; dialogues with God; symbols; art world; dealers; the WalkingSticks; Late Afternoon on the Rio Grande; art theory; drawing; diptych format; Venere Alpina; Sex, Fear and Aging; prints and books; and curiosity and humor. WalkingStick also recalls Simon Ralph WalkingStick, Margaret Emma McKaig, Charles WalkingStick, Murray Peterson McKaig, Benton Spruance, Michael Echols, Bear Paw, Bertha Urdang, Ramona Sakiestewa, Jody Folwell, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Emmi Whitehorse, George Longfish, David Penny, Dirk Bach, Bryn Mawr, and Marsden Hartley.
Warashina discusses her childhood in Spokane, Washington, as the youngest of three children of Japanese immigrants; her first experience with art, which was working on murals in elementary school; getting through school by doing visual art projects, including one on fashion design for a French class; her great-grandmother who sold pottery and rice off a cart in her native Japan; her working processes and moving from high-fire to low-fire glazes, as well as dealing with color and decoration in her work; making increasingly larger pieces and thus discovering more surfaces on which to paint; learning how to make hand-built pieces, and in general learning how to control her material; spending her early years working in a vacuum because she was busy raising a family during the day and working in the studio all night; the influence of Surrealism, the Funk movement, and the Chicago Hairy Who on her work; her love of clay as a medium because it presents challenges and technical variables that keep the work interesting; the status of clay as a valid artistic material, and how that has changed over the course of art history; her own personal definition of art as something that "raises your blood pressure," and what makes a "a good pot into a work of art instead of just a pot"; the difference between her early and later work, which she calls cumulative process; her move to the figure, which came naturally out of her earlier work and was in keeping with the Surrealist images to which she was so attracted; recent series of her work, including Mile Post Queens, and Sake Sets: The Drunken Power Series; the role of the figure in her work and the unique challenges they present; being a self-proclaimed "news junkie" and listening to jazz while she works; spending 30 years teaching and the influence it had on her career; her mother as a strong influence and role model in her life, as well as her mother's interest in crafts and gardening; and the influence of artists such as Hieronymous Bosch, René Magritte and Joan Miró on her work. Warashina recalls Robert Sperry, Fred Bauer, Peter Voulkos, Robert Arneson, Toshiko Takaezu, Henry Takemoto, Garth Clark, Howard Cotler, Matthew Kangas, Warren McKenzie, Nan McKinnell, Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Soetsu Yanagi, and others.
An interview of Todd Webb conducted 1990 September 4-1992 May 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art. Webb speaks of his childhood in Detroit and Ontario, Canada; friendship with photographer Harry Callahan and the influence of a course by Ansel Adams on them both; service as a Navy photographer in World War II; development of a close friendship with Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe during the late 1940s; photographic assignments with FORTUNE magazine for Standard Oil Company under Roy Stryker, and in England and France under Rene Leonhardt, a photo agency; writing and photographic essays on the American West; assignments in 1960s for the United Nations; sale, in the 1970s, of negatives and work to date to the collector George Rinhart; residence in Maine; and his frequent travels.
Welliver talks about his childhood in Pennsylvania; his self-education; his marriage to a fashion illustrator; attending the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts), receiving a BFA in 1953; teaching art in a public school; attending the Yale School of Art (MFA 1955) and teachers there; going to Maine; teaching at Yale (1955-1965); teaching at the University of Pennsylvania (1966-1989) at the graduate level. He recalls architect Louis Kahn at Yale and then at Pennsylvania; his various New York dealers from the 1960s, including Eleanor Ward at Stable Gallery, Aladar Marburger at Fischbach Gallery, and Pierre Lefraie at Marlborough Gallery; various art world friends, including Hilton Kramer, Clement Greenberg, and Fairfield Porter; and receiving an honorary doctorate of fine arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1996.
Wilder discusses his education; working for the Lanyon Art Gallery near San Francisco; opening the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles in 1965 and operating it until it closed in 1979; the Los Angeles art scene in the 60s and how it has changed; Charlie Cowles and the founding of ARTFORUM magazine; and artists his gallery handled including Bruce Nauman, Joe Goode and Tom Holland.
Wilson discusses his childhood as a member of a family of middle class blacks from British Guiana (now Guyana); his father's grave disappointments in the face of racial discrimination; his parents' push for their children to succeed; early urge to read and draw; encouragement by School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston students who taught at the Roxbury Boys Club; his secondary education; and friends.
He talks about his education at the MFA School, Boston, and comments on such teachers as Ture Bengtz and Karl Zerbe and compares their exacting methods with those of Fernand Leger, his teacher in Paris.
His work of the 1940s prior to going to Paris; the importance of early awards and sales received while still a student at the MFA School; the excitement of sharing a studio with fellow students, Francesco Carbone and Leo Prince; and encouragement to stay in school during WW II with the promise of a European study fellowship after the war.
The great impact of his years in Paris (1948-49); the lack of racial prejudice; the liberating effect of Leger's teaching; his awe of the work of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca during a trip to Italy; and the deep impression made on him by seeing tribal art in the Musee de l'Homme, Paris.
Continued discussion of Leger; his teaching methods; and influences on his work.
His first teaching position at the MFA School; his involvement in civil rights in Boston; his gregariousness and the use of his studio as a meeting place for artists and political activists; his involvement with socialism in Boston and New York; and working in a socialist children's camp. He remembers meeting Paul Robeson, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, and Bob Blackburn, who was then setting up his printmaking atelier in New York; marriage to a fellow socialist (June 1950); move to Mexico on a fellowship to study with Jose Orozco on the advice of Leger, only to find that Orozco had died; terrors of travel as an interracial couple through the U.S.; and different racial attitudes in Mexico and the U.S.
Living in Mexico (1950-56) and anecdotes of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera; his wife's meeting with Frieda Kahlo and seeing her collection of folk art; their free and cosmopolitan, if impoverished, life in Mexico; his work in a printmaking atelier and on the production of frescoes, and a lengthy aside about his brilliant brother, Freddie, who because he was black was not allowed to pursue his first love, geology, for many years.
Continued discussion of his experiences in Mexico; the dreary year (1957) he spent doing commercial art for a meatpackers' union in Chicago, a city he disliked; his move to New York in 1958, taking on commercial work to support his family, and teaching anatomy at the Pratt Institute.
Teaching art at a junior high school in the Bronx, and his gaining respect of students through special projects; teaching drawing at Boston University (1965-86), his approach to teaching including his demanding standards, the seriousness of the students, his opposing rigid attendance and grading rules, and colleagues, such as David Aronson who had created the School, Reed Kay, Jack Kramer, Sidney Hurwitz, and the University president, John Silber.
Working with the black arts entrepreneur, Elma Lewis, in setting up a visual arts program for the Boston black community (late 1960s-1970s), including the selection of a curator, Edmund Barry Gaither, a young art historian, who eventually established a museum of African-American art; his participation in various black art exhibitions, despite his belief that art should be seen regardless of the ethnic origins of artists; his move toward sculpture, beginning in the early 1960s, as a medium most expressive of black persons, culminating in the 1980s in a series of colossal heads and a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the U.S. Capitol (1985-86); and why he makes art and will so long as he is able.
Robert speaks of his mother earning an award for her artwork; his father and other family members being Communists and having to distance himself in being identified with them; his mother making ceramic jewelry while his father was working as a welder at Cramps Shipyard in Philadelphia during World War II; feeling like he had an attention deficit disorder of some kind, which prevented him from doing well in school, so he took ceramics classes in high school to bring his grades up; starting in painting at the Tyler School of Art, finishing in sculpture, clay, and ceramics; appreciating the Abstract Expressionist work of Franz Kline; of the opinion that one learns art by doing and that the teachers are there to direct you only; feeling that he did not have the freedom to experiment with clay as he wished at Alfred University, School of Art and Design for fear of being compared to Peter Voulkos; his first job teaching at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas; teaching in Peoria, Illinois for a year; beginning Cape Street Pottery in Ashfield, Massachusetts; when he began salt firing and working more in sculptural forms; his work influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Ignazio Giacometti, Zen master calligraphers, Peter Voulkos, and others; feeling that the computer cannot, as of yet, produce the quality of art that humans can through repetition; that the process of creating is more important than the subject; starting his 30-year teaching career at Tyler School of Art in 1966; that students today are approaching ceramics conceptually and academically rather than through a relationship with the material; the beginning of NCECA [National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts]; and how he enjoys making what he wants to, now that he is retired. Robert also recalls Rudolf Staffel, John Wood, Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Shoji Hamada, Marguerite Wildenhain, Ken Ferguson, Norm Schulman, Victor Babu, Myrna Minter, Don Reitz, Helen Drutt English, Richard Notkin, Dick Hay, Marge Levy, and Ken Vavrek.
Winston speaks of his early childhood and running away from home at 19 months old, being found in a garage and building things ever since; the numerous operations he had as a child; his dyslexia and how he got through college; the death of his father and move to Berkeley, California; teaching at Berkeley High school; 17 years teaching at California College of Arts and Crafts (1942-1959) and the growth of the school throughout that time period; moving to Arizona and teaching lost wax casting in an abandoned supermarket; his inventions, Win-Ox, an oxidizer, and Bubble-Be-Gone, a cleaner; his latest sale of Win-Ox; his title as "San Francisco's Most Professional Eccentric;" and finding that a lot of the people he teaches do not find the "magic" that he does in jewelry work. Winston then discusses his current studio layout in an former hospital building; his machines and different work rooms; his chemistry table, where he makes his Win-Ox solution; his collection; how he's accomplished so much despite his dyslexia; the Hunt brothers and how they made the price of gold drop; living from Art Festival to Festival on the road in his Jeep; his mentors John Haley and Chiura Obata; and his bike, which he still rides. Winston also recalls Aileen Webb, Margaret DePatta, Gene Bielawski, Mark Hopkins, Karl Kasten, and others.
Withers discusses her childhood in Kansas; early education; and aptitude for drawing.Education in art and design, including studying crafts at the University of Kansas, 1925-29; her position as a grade school teacher in Kansas and as a crafts instructor at Wichita Art Association, 1930s; study with various master metalworkers, including Arthur Nevill Kirk, Arthur J. Stone, Leonard Heinrich and Wilson Weir in the USA, and Baron Erik Fleming in Sweden.Development of Hospital Service Program, with the support of Handy and Harman, precious metal refiners, during World War II, to train army therapists in metalworking for disabled soldiers; supervision in post-War period of Handy and Harman's Craft Service Department, producing films on hand-wrought silver, a traveling exhibition of outstanding contemporary silver, instructional brochures, and a series of workshops for American silversmiths, taught by European masters.Marriage in 1950 to Charles Withers, president of Towle Silver, and that company's policy of employing top designers; Towle's commissioning of works in silver from top modern sculptors; her making of silver holloware and jewelry for private clients; her re-invention of the en resille process for enameling (1959) and in the early 1980s her invention of a process for combining enamel, glass, and silver and gold leaf in jewelry; and her involvement in crafts organizations.She discusses her en resille enameling technique. [The 1985 session is transcribed, and is accompanied by slides of the work discussed].
Woodman speaks of frequent moves with her family during her childhood; her father's woodworking skills; gaining an interest in arts and crafts at four when she made a tablecloth with crayon drawings; attending summer camps, including Girl Scout Camp, where she participated in arts and crafts activities; being the first girl to take shop in her middle school; making model airplanes for air raid wardens during World War II; her interest in making functional objects; her introduction to clay and hand-building in high school; attending the School for American Craftsmen in New York City; collaborating with fellow students; her early desire to be a "craftsperson and not an artist"; her work with silk-screen fabric for The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia and glass at CIRVA in Marseille, France; teaching at the University of Colorado and the City of Boulder Recreation Department; working at the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch, Holland, and the Bellagio Study Center in Italy; her studios in New York, Colorado, and Italy; her travels to India, The Netherlands, and Mexico; living in New Mexico, New York, Colorado, and Italy; her business Roadrunner Pottery in New Mexico with partner Elenita Brown; collaborative projects with Joyce Kozloff, Cynthia Carlson, Bud Shark, Judith Solodkin, and her husband George Woodman; developing a following in New York; how being a woman has affected her work and how she enjoys working with other women artists; the change of market for American crafts; Italian, Greek, and Etruscan influences; teaching experiences; the importance of getting reviews in art magazines; and the strong support from her husband George, a painter. Betty Woodman recalls Lynn Feelyn, Olan Wassen, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Shoji Hamada, Bob Kushner, Richard Serra, Wayne Higby, and others.
In 2017, a photograph of Harriet Tubman surfaced that had been lost to history for more than a century. In a feature of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portraits podcast, we hear the story behind this picture, and how its discovery changes the way we see Tubman – not just an icon of freedom and human dignity, but a courageous young woman.
This interview was conducted in New Haven, Connecticut. Albers speaks of his childhood in the industrial area of Westphalia, Germany; his father's influence as a house painter and set designer; his young interest in technical toys; his educational history, beginning at the Royal Art School, an art teacher prep school; his education in art history in conjunction with fine arts; his brief experience teaching in public schools; his time studying at the Applied Art School in Essen while living and teaching in Berlin; and the beginning of professional career after having passed his exam in Berlin in 1915.
He discusses the influence of the European movements/artists, Die Brucke; Schmidt-Rottluff, Heckel, and Kirchner; his move to Munich and time spent working with Stuck (the teacher of Kandinsky and Klee); his eventual shift to the Bauhaus working in collage and stained glass under Itten; his refusal to do the traditional apprenticeship at the Bauhaus and surprising success with stained glass while striking out on his own; his initial experiments while working in the new studio for stained glass at the Bauhaus with frosting (a.k.a. thermometer style); his move from collage to montage; his disbelief in the use of past art as a source for current art; his distaste for the concept of art as self-expression; his use of repetitive forms in his painting as a method of "solving the problem;" his belief that the spectator makes the vision of the artist more lively; his belief that he teaches philosophy (how to see) not technique (how to paint); the fine line between influencing students and creating disciples; color as the most relative medium in art and a study of ourselves; his use of squares (the most man-made form), beginning in 1949; the role of art in society to reveal visually the attitude of our mentality; and his belief as to the future of art as being a further consideration of order.
An interview of Robert Bechtle conducted 2010 February 8 and 9, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art, at Bechtle's home and studio, in San Francisco, California.
Transcript: 66 pages
An interview of Mel Bochner conducted 1994 May, by Lizbeth Marano, for the Archives of American Art.