ABOUT

The Irving Kriesberg
Estate Foundation

ABOUT
IRVING KRIESBERG

Irving Kriesberg was born on March 13, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois. He developed an aptitude for art at an early age by filling notebooks with drawings of museum taxidermy he encountered at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. This early experience of biological rendering, combined with an admiration of George Harriman’s innocent playfulness, poetic dialogue, and surrealist environments in the comic strip, Krazy Kat, made a lasting impression on Kriesberg, who engaged in his own animal imagery over a six decade long career.

After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1941 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts, Kriesberg lived in Mexico from 1941 until 1944. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas in Mexico City, while also working as a muralist and graphic artist.

Kriesberg moved to New York City in 1945 and was initially employed as an animator for billboards in Times Square. He met the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, who introduced him to Curt Valentin, the owner of a prominent uptown gallery on 57th Street called the Curt Valentin Gallery. Valentin became Kriesberg’s first art dealer and introduced Kriesberg’s paintings to The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) curator Dorothy Miller, who included Kriesberg in a 1951 ‘New Talent’ exhibition at MoMA. In 1952 Miller included Kriesberg in her landmark exhibition,15 Americans at MoMA, alongside Jackson Pollock, William Baziotes, Clifford Still, Edward Corbett, Richard Lippold, Herbert Ferber, Mark Rothko, Bradley Walker Tomlin, and other revered American artists.

Following his 1955 solo exhibition at the legendary Curt Valentin Gallery, Kriesberg exhibited regularly in major galleries including the Graham Gallery (New York, NY), Gertrude Kasle Gallery (Detroit, MI), Terry Dintenfass Gallery (New York, NY), Martha Jackson Gallery (New York, NY), Peter Findlay Gallery (New York, NY), and Lori Bookstein Fine Art (New York,NY). From 1965-66 Kriesberg traveled to India on a Fulbright Fellowship, which culminated in a 1966 solo exhibition at the Kumar Gallery in Delhi. His work has been the subject of numerous museum solo shows including the Jewish Museum (New York, NY) in 1961, The Yale Museum in 1967, The Everson Art Museum (Syracuse, NY) and Rose Art Museum (Boston, MA) in 1980, and the Longview Museum of Fine Art (Longview, TX) in 2012.

Kriesberg also worked outside of the gallery and museum environment and created large-scale public artworks such as the Resurrection (1972) mural for Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois. Kriesberg’s major public art commission for the New York Cultural Center, the 40’ high Angry Dove banner, (1982) was an iconic symbol of the March for Nuclear Disarmament in New York City in 1982.

While Kriesberg primarily worked as a painter and sculptor he also created films including Pastoral (1954) with music by Douglas Townsend, and Out of Into (1971) with music by Bulent Arel. Kriesberg’s lifelong interest in cinematography led to him earning a Masters of the Arts in film from New York University in 1972.

Additionally, Kriesberg held esteemed teaching positions at Yale University Graduate School, Washington University in St. Louis, New York University, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, State University of New York, and Columbia University. Throughout his life he lectured and taught workshops on animation, painting, and drawing throughout the United States, India, Israel, Nepal and Europe. Kriesberg was also the author of three books published about artistic theory and technique.

The poet and art scholar George Nelson Preston said of Kriesberg, “He has never consciously sought a counter aesthetic through purely painterly means. He has been a leader in innovation through eccentricity of composition and exposition of an internal mental dialect of polarities. The means by which this has been carried out are largely through the presentational motifs of proscenium, setting, and encounter.”

home-5
Born. 1919, Chicago, IL
Died. 2009, New York, NY
Selected Solo Exhibitions

1955: Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, NY

1957: Duveen-Graham, New York, NY

1961: The Jewish Museum, New York, NY

1961: Graham Gallery, New York, NY

1964: Graham Gallery, New York, NY

1964: Franklin Siden Gallery, New York, NY

1965: Graham Gallery, New York, NY

1966: Kumar Gallery, Delhi, India

1966: Gertrude Kasle Gallery, Detroit, MI

1972: The New School Associates, New York, NY

1972: Ingber Gallery, New York, NY

1978: Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York, NY

1979: Fairweather–Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL

1980: Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York, NY

1980: Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

1980: Galerie Elizabeth, Chicago, IL

1981: Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University
Waltham, MA

1981: Fiedler Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1981: Jack Gallery, New York, NY

1982: Washington University, St. Louis, MO

1982: Zenith Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

1982: Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York, NY

1983: Jack Gallery, New York, NY

1985: Graham Modern, New York, NY

1987: Graham Modern, New York, NY

1987: The Gallery at St. Mary’s College of Maryland,

1987: Atwood Memorial Center’s Gallery,
State University, MN

1987: Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College,
Saratoga Springs, NY

1990: Scheele Gallery, Cleveland, OH

1992: Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, NY

1994: Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, NY

1997: Peter Findlay Gallery, New York, NY

2000: Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

2005: Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

2005: Peter Findlay Gallery, New York, NY

2008: Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

2012: Longview Museum of Fine Art, Longview, TX

Selected Group Exhibitions

1946: Room of Chicago Art: A. Raymond Katz and Irving Kriesberg, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1951: [New Talent Exhibition] Di Spirito; Kriesberg; Mintz, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1951: Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture, Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, NY

1951: Annual Contemporary Painting, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1952: 15 Americans, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1953: Reg Butler; Bruno Cassina; Jan Cox; Irving Kriesberg; Alton Pickens, Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, NY

1955: Painters Under 35, Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy

1960: Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

1960: New Forms – New Media I, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, NY

1967: 67th Annual American Exhibition: Directions in Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1967: Contemporary Art at Yale No 5 : Paintings: Lennart Anderson, Irving Kriesberg, Richard Lytle, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

1968: Directions I: Options, Milwaukee Art Center, Milwaukee, WI

1969: Human Concern/Personal Torment, The Whitney Museum of American Art

1972: Ten Independents, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

1984-86: Emotional Impact: New York School Figurative Expressionism (Traveling Show)

1986: Diptychs, Triptychs, Polyptychs, Graham Modern, New York, NY

1987: Carmen Cicero; Robert de Niro; Irving Kriesberg; Selina Trieff, Goldman-Kraft Gallery, Chicago, IL

1987: The Interior Self, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ

1989: Physicality, Graham Modern, New York, NY

1990: Expressionist Painting Naturally Inspired: Karl Schrag; Syd Solomon; Irving Kriesberg, Scheele Galleries INC., Cleveland, OH

1994: Fantasy and Myth, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

1995: Animals, Animals, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

2005: In Black and White, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

2006: Clay, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

2010: The Westbeth Pioneers Show, Wetbeth Gallery, New York, NY

2011: On the Wall / Off the Wall, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

Selected Public Collections

Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA

Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia, Canada

Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Butler Institute, Youngstown, OH

Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA

Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY

Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Ardsley, NY

Cincinnati Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH,

Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI

Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY

Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL

The Jewish Museum, New York, NY

Kemper Art Museum, Kansas City, MO

Kresge Museum of Art, East Lansing, MI

Longview Museum of Fine Art, Longview, TX

MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA

Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ

The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Commissions, Awards & Fellowships
1955: Ford Foundation Grant for “Looking at Pictures,” college text

1964: Ford Foundation Painting Award

1965-66: Fulbright Fellowship to India

1972: New York State Creative Artists Award

1973: State University of New York Research Fellowship

1973: Mural Commission, Beth Emet Temple, Evanston, IL

1974: New York State Creative Artists Award

1977: John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Memorial Award

1981: National Endowment for the Arts Award

1982: New York City Cultural Center, “Angry Dove” Banner

1993: Pollock-Krasner Fellowship

2002: Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award