Irving Kriesberg

Irving Kriesberg (1919–2009) was an American painter whose work combined elements of Abstract Expressionism with figurative elements of human and animal forms.Kriesberg made his debut with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko at the 1952 exhibition, Fifteen Artists, at the New York Museum of Modern Art.Wikipedia


As a young child Irving Kriesberg would create drawing books filled with images of museum taxidermy he encountered at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. 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 later engaged his own animal imagery by tapping into subconscious memory.
For over sixty years Kriesberg invited viewers to observe what he experienced through images that, as he described it, “well up behind my eyes”. His work blended the lines between abstraction and representation during a time when mainstream artists had chosen complete abstraction as a means for a more spiritual and absolute style. Kriesberg used the figure prolifically, creating his mystical dreamlike environments out of a process he defined as the spontaneous application of paint. Kriesberg’s animal figurations have multiple intentions and, he steadfastly maintained, his artwork has no allegorical intent. He combined his individual and shared worldly experiences with his fantastical imagination. ( )

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