A key figure in the sharp-focus realist movement, he was a leader in the early 1960s of the revival of figure painting in America. He experimented briefly with landscapes and then concentrated on the realistic depiction of the nude figure, a traditional subject that had almost vanished from the contemporary art world. His work is characterized by a non-traditional informality, unexpected postures, and unusual perspectives including the radical cropping of figures. In his later works, he introduced rather elaborate backdrops including richly patterned fabrics and decorative floor patterns.
He was born and grew up in Pittsburgh and in 1944 enrolled at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He spent three years in the Army and then returned to school, graduating in 1949 with a B.F.A. He pursued graduate studies in art history at New York University and received a Master's Degree in 1955.
Although he briefly pursued Abstract Expressionism, he found his mature subject matter during the 1960s when he evolved his signature highly finished-hard edged, objective studies of the nude figure. He has earned awards from the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.