Norman Sasowsky, American

Norman Sasowsky

Norman Sasowsky discovered his interest in art while a junior high student in New York City’s public schools. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School, which had an excellent art program di- rected by a very distinguished teacher, Leon Friend.

He graduated from Lincoln in 1949 with a scholarship to study at the Art Students League in New York City and enrolled in Harry Sternberg’s painting class. Shortly after he entered the class, one of his paintings was selected by Sternberg to be used in the annual League catalog to represent the class. Sasowsky went on to Kenneth Hayes Miller’s class where he became the Class Monitor. When Miller died, he briefly studied with Reginald Marsh, who had also been a Miller student.

He left the League in 1952 and rented a studio in 1 Union Square, NYC, one floor directly beneath Marsh’s studio. Marsh visited Sasowsky’s studio from time to time and gave him, as was his style, modest guidance.

Shortly after Marsh unexpectedly died in 1954, Marsh’s widow, Felicia Meyer Marsh, re- tained Sasowsky to catalog and curate the work left in Marsh’s Estate. He did that for twenty-five years, arranging exhibitions, organizing the work, cataloging, and serving as an advisor. Sasowsky published a catalog raisonne of Marsh’s prints in 1976. When Mrs. Marsh died in 1978, Sasowsky distributed her husband’s work for her Estate to one hundred museums.

Initially, Marsh’s paintings had a great impact on Sasowsky’s work. However, a trip to Europe in 1956 where he experienced a wider exposure to Modern European painting proved to be important in the future development of his painting. In addition, his exposure to jazz music in this country opened up the possibility of impro- visation in painting.

Sasowsky’s paintings progressed through several stages in the 1960’s through the 70’s. He became more interested in dealing with his own feelings and ideas using the human figure as a subject to carry and convey states of being. He took more liberties with the subjects of his paintings, combining “real” elements with those created by his imagination. There continued to be an interplay between observed elements and imagination in the process of creating/painting.

The work in the succeeding decades was created with oil paints including monoprints and oil stick paints.

His most recent works, figure, landscape and portraits, subjects or motifs, are oil paintings.

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