Joseph Solman


NEW YORK (AP) - Joseph Solman, an artist who painted vivid images of New York street scenes and along with Mark Rothko helped found an influential arts group in the 1930s, has died at age 99.

Solman died in his sleep Wednesday in the Manhattan apartment where he lived and worked, Amnon Goldman, the artist's primary dealer, said Friday.

A master colorist, Solman had the ability to turn ordinary scenes of ice cellars, gas stations and windows into objects of beauty, Goldman said.

He attended the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design, but said he learned more by sketching while riding the city's subways and buses. Among his best-known works are the "Subway Gouaches," images of people in different poses on the New York subways.

In the 1930s and 40s, Solman worked for the government's Works Progress Administration, where he met and worked with many established artists, including Jackson Pollock and Milton Avery.

He founded the art group Ten with Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb in the 1930s as a protest against the mainstream art of American scenic painters. At about the same time, Solman became editor-in-chief of Art Front magazine, introducing photography to its pages.

In the 1950s, with the art scene dominated by abstract expressionism, Solman joined with Edward Hopper and Jack Levine to found Reality, an art publication opposed to any one theory about how an artist should paint.

"He never abandoned his subject matter. As far as he pushed his composition, it was always anchored in reality. He never went all the way to abstraction," said Goldman, who owns the Mercury Gallery in Boston. "He kept reinventing himself, he never got stuck in one thing."

A memorial service was planned for May.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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"Sorry for you lost... several years ago I was just browsing small galleries in Rockport , MA and came upon some of Mr. Solmans painting and was in awe ... rest in peace"

I am sorry for your loss. In the bible it tells about a time when you will be able to see your loved one again. when you get a chance please read John 3:16.

We are so sorry for you loss. Our thoughts are with you. We discovered his art in a small gallery in Washington,DC and have enjoyed looking at our treasure everyday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. His spirit lives on in all his wonderful art pieces.

New York City is truly world class and Joseph Solman was able to capture the uniqueness of the city through his craft. He lived a long life which is called "special mightiness" at Psalms 90:10. We can look to the future when "death will be no more" at Revelation 21:4. God's words bring us comfort and give us hope.


sounds like a very talented man.