Size: 2 Sound cassettes, Sound recordings (90 min.); 27 Pages, Transcript
Format: Transferred from original acetate tape reels. Sound quality is poor. The recording ends before the conclusion of the interview.
Summary: An interview of Adolph Gottlieb conducted 1967 Oct. 25, in New York, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
Gottlieb speaks of his childhood in New York; his decision to pursue art and its connection to a generational rebellion against traditional middle class values; his interest in art by the age of fifteen; the cultural influence of pop culture and comic strips (Mutt and Jeff); his interrupted high school career at Stuyvesant; his eighteen month stay in Europe (1921) studying in museums and various art schools; his subsequent exposure to Matisse, Picasso, and Leger; his experiences with German Expressionism in Vienna, Munich, Dresden, and Berlin; his return to the states; his attraction to Italian and French Renaissance painting as well as Ingres Courbet, and Delacroix; his time spent attending Saturday classes at the Arts Student League under John Sloan; the influence of John Sloan's cubist side; his foresight of the transient nature of the Ashcan school; his belief in painting from the imagination and memory; Cezanne's influence insofar as the notion of how to approach the forms of nature in terms of their volume; his instinct to maintain the surface and to keep it flat; his use of muddy, gray, brown, subdued colors, applied in a rich juicy impasto style; his first exhibition with the Art Alliance; his relationship with Rothko and Avery and specifically the heavy influence of Avery on his subject matter after his marriage;his short time working for the WPA in 1936; his self-discovery in Arizona; his literary influences, Pound, Joyce, Proust, 19th century writers, and Russian writers; his return to New York City and his further abstraction and reduction of means; his use of a horizon as the result of a shift in forms; his budding interest in primitive art (particularly African Art); the formation of his pictographs and the influence of the Surrealists and the philosophy of Jung and the collective unconscious; his belief in surface techniques to achieve freshness, much like the automism; the elimination of compartmentalization in his work in the 50's; his interest in certain opposing images; art as a matter of subjective rather than objective; his more refined work, more colorful, and more subtle work of the mid 50's; his distaste for academic devises; his recent Burst paintings; and his impulse to work on a larger scale.