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March 6, 2012


Filed under: joseph solman — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 3:02 pm

So by now, you know I become obsessed, only so slightly, and the newest obsession seems to be those that were associated with The Ten.  Jospeh Solman was one of the founders, and in his work you will see so many of the greats

that he was influenced by and that were influenced by him!

I adore his work and hope you find this post very interesting!




Joseph Solman was, with Mark Rothko, a co-founder of The Ten, a group of expressionist painters who worked in New York City in the 1930s. A devout modernist during a time when social realism was in favor,

Solman infused his New York street scenes with abstract qualities yet never abandoned recognizable subject matter. Solman, has not received appropriate recognition for his “poetic paintings…(which) force the spectator to discover

strange beauties in unpromising places.” (The New York Times, 1940).

Since his late teens, Solman sketched quick studies of people, shops and signage on the streets and alleyways of Jamaica, Long Island, where he lived with his family. In the 1930s, he began to document the streets of New York City

and became quite well known as a founding member of The Ten in 1935. Solman, inspired by the Second Armory Show, which showcased the achievements of such modern artists as Picasso and Braque, incorporated elements of Cubism

into his urban scenes, interiors and portraiture. Solman’s work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts,

Boston; Boston Public Library; and the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, among many others.

Claiming “the subway was his art school,” Joseph Solman, documented dozens of passengers as he commuted to work as a part-time bookie at the Belmont Park race track in Long Island, NY, in the 1960s. With pencil in hand and the

daily racing forms as his paper, Solman used sparing, gestural lines to record random travelers engrossed in their private worlds amidst the public space of the commuter train.

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