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Oral history interview with Oscar Chelimsky, 1990 August 28-September 5

Chelimsky, Oscar Paul, 1923-2010



Collection Information

Size: 48 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 34 min.

Summary: An interview of Oscar Chelimsky conducted 1990 August 28-September 5, by Michael Plante, for the Archives of American Art.
Chelimsky recalls his studies at Cooper Union, the Art Students League (1939-1943), and the Hans Hofmann School of Art (1946-1947) and describes Hofmann's teaching methods. Chelimsky discusses his decision to go to Paris in 1948; his brief studies at the Fontainebleu School and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere; his studio in Paris; the French attitude toward Americans in postwar Paris; a proposed exhibition of American painters in France at the Galerie des Beaux Arts in 1963; Americans exhibiting at the various salons and galleries in Paris; and the founding of the cooperative Galerie Huit and the artists involved including Bill Rivers, Jules Olitski, Reginald Pollack, Robert Kulicke, Sidney Geist, and Paul Keene. Chelimsky also discusses the evolution of his style, his move back to the United States in 1970, and his continuing investigation of the "open form" in his paintings.

Biographical/Historical Note

Oscar Chelimsky (1923-2010) was a painter.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Oscar Chelimsky, 1990 August 28-September 5. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.