Fred Mitchell, American (1923 - 2013)

Fred Mitchell

Fred Mitchell (1923-2013) belonged to the New York School Abstract Expressionist artists whose influence and artistic innovation by the 1950s had been recognized around the world. New York School Abstract Expressionism, represented by Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Franz Kline and others became a leading art movement of the post-World War II era.

Fred Mitchell was born November 24, 1923, in Meridian, Mississippi. Died New York City, May 21, 2013.


1942-1943: Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA with scholarship
1948, 1950, 1951: Accademia di Belle Arti, Instituto Meschini, Rome, Italy
1948: Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI received BFA; Columbia University, New York City in summer; Atelier 17 with Stanley Hayter
1956: Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI received MFA

In 1947 Mitchell was the winner of Pepsi Cola cash award of $1,500; He sailed to Rome. During his visit to Rome he met painters John Heliker, Afro (Basadella), Philip Guston who had major influence on his work. Returning to the US, in 1951 Mitchell moved to New York City and became one of the first painters to open a painting studio in the downtown seaport area along the East River known as Coenties Slip (Manhattan). He soon joined the "Downtown Group" which represented a group of artists who found studios in lower Manhattan. In 1952 Mitchell, Angelo Ippolito, Lois Dodd, Charles Cajori and William King organized the Tanager Gallery, which belonged to the Tenth Street galleries. His friend Philip Pavia introduced Mitchell to 'The Club'.

Teaching Positions

1952-1954: Drawing and Painting, Neighborhood House, Riverdale. NY
1954: Finch College, NY; Founded Coenties Slip (Manhattan) School of Art
1956: Positano Art Workshop. Positano, Italy
1955-1959: Cranbrook Academy of Arts, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1961-1968: Downtown Art Center, Seamens Church Institute, Coenties Slip (Manhattan), NY
1961-1971: New York University
1968-1969: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
1973-1974: Queens College, CUNY
1975-1980: Southern Tip School of Art, South Street Seaport, NY
1979-1983: Parsons School of Design Master of Fine Arts program, NY
1985-2003: Art Students League of New York;[5]
1986-2000: Kingsborough Community College, City University, NY

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1942, 1965: Municipal Gallery, Jackson, Mississippi
1953: Tanager Gallery, New York City
1953: Positano Art Workshop, Positano, Italy
1958, 1960, 1961, 1963: Howard Wise Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio and New York
1966: Wooster Art Center, Danbury, Connecticut
1968: Wisconsin State University, Platteville
1972, 1988: Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi
1973: Image Gallery, Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Roko Gallery, New York City
1974: Queens College Art Library Gallery, Queens, New York
1976, 1977: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Gallery, Utica, New York; University Art Gallery, SUNY Binghamton
1979: "Southern Tip Series," South Street Seaport Museum, New York City
1982: Landmark Gallery, New York City
1984: University of Oregon Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon
1987: Kingsborough Community College Art Gallery, New York
1988: Meridian Community College, Casteel Gallery, Mississippi
1996: Horne-Marshall Gallery, Meridian, Mississippi
1997: White Box Gallery, Fred Mitchell Recent Works; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1998: Fred Mitchell, Gallery X, New York
2003: David Findlay Jr. Gallery, 'Fred Mitchell', New York
2005: Noel Fine Art, 'Fred Mitchell: New York Harbor Scenes', Bronxville, New York
2007: Joyce Goldstein Gallery, 'Modernism Into Abstraction: Fred Mitchell 1940-1949', Chatham, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions

1945: "Soldier Art" National Army Arts Contest, National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C.
1946-1949: Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI
1953, 1954: "New York Painting and Sculpture Annual," Stable Gallery, New York City
1954-1955: "Young American Painters," circ., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City
1955: "Vanguard Artists," Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
1956, 1960: "The Founding Five," Tanager Gallery, New York City
1958: "Young American Painters," Rome-New York Foundation, Rome, Italy
1961: Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA
1962: "Museum of Modern Art in Embassies," Manila, Philippines
1967: "Art in American Embassies Abroad," U.S. State Department
1974: "Nine Artists, Coenties Slip," Whitney Museum of American Art, Downtown, NY
1975: "Paintings and Watercolors," Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, NJ
1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1983: Buecker & Harpsichords Gallery, NY
1980-1982: "New York Painting," Landmark Gallery, New York City
1985: "The Gathering of the Avant-Garde: The Lower East Side, 1948-1970," Kenkaleba House Gallery, New York City
1990: ULAE Gallery," Waterworks", New York, NY
1999: Katherina Rich Perlow Gallery, "The Abstract Tradition: Fred Mitchell, John Ferren, Stephen Pace, John Grillo", New York, NY
2004: The Rockford Art Museum, "Reuniting An Era: Abstract Expressionists of The 1950s", Rockford, IL
2007: Hackett Freedman Gallery, "A Culture in the Making: New York and San Francisco in the 1950s", San Francisco, CA
2008: Robert Miller Gallery, "Beyond The Canon: Small Works in American Abstraction 1945-1965", New York, NY

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