Artist Bios

theamericangothic

Benny Andrews (http://bennyandrews.com/)

1930 – 2006

Benny Andrews was born in Georgia, one of ten children in a farming family. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago on the G.I. Bill. Andrews moved to New York City in 1958, influenced by the rich African-American culture that the city provided. The narrative theme in much of his work derives from his experiences both collectively as an African American and personally.  In Andrews work he explores and creates a dialog as to what it means to be an individual within the complexity of American contemporary life. In 1969, Andrews co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition to advocate for equal inclusion of African Americans in the arts. Andrews served as the director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1982 to 1984.

Adam and Eve in Eastport, 48 x 70, 1970, A2, ID 7

Bill Barrell (http://billbarrell.com/)

b.1932

Bill Barrell was born in London and emigrated to the United States. His career as a painter came to fruition the summer of 1956 in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His first solo exhibition was hung in 1958 at the experimental Sun Gallery in Provincetown. Barrell would later run this gallery in 1960 and continue to show Figurative Expressionist work. Barrell is one of the seminal second generation Abstract Expressionists (mid-50s – early 60s) who returned to painting the figure.

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Ken Bowman

1937 – 2014

Ken Bowman was born in Denver, Colorado in 1937, and he began painting in 1957. His early work includes oils that he painted in Greece, where he spent three months as a guest of the Greek government. From 1958 to 1959, Bowman traveled throughout Europe and in parts of Africa, after which he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in 1963. After graduation, he returned to Denver, where he briefly taught history of art in a commercial school before settling in New York City in 1964. Bowman had his first one-man show at the prominent Tibor de Nagy gallery on Manhattan’s East 57th Street in 1970, the same year that Rhino Horn was formed. He continued to show his work with that gallery for the remainder of the 1970s.

 

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Peter Dean  (http://www.peterdeantheartist.com/)

1934 – 1993

Peter Dean was born in 1938 in Berlin and emigrated to the United States in 1938. He had his first one-man show in 1963 at the Aspects Gallery on East 10th Street. It was during this period that his style developed into a powerful mode of Figurative Expressionism. His work was vibrant, full of color, gesturally applied thick paint, crowded with energetic figures and often depicted allegorical or political themes. Dean was one of renowned curator Marcia Tucker’s favorite artists and she included him in Paradise Lost/Paradise Regained: American Visions of the New Decade at the Venice Biennale, 1984.

 

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Michael Fauerbach

1942-2011

Michael Fauerbach was  born in Yonkers and grew up in the Bronx. In 1963 he graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He went to School of Visual Arts to study illustration because he like the figure.  While there, the market fell out of favor towards illustration due to the popularity of photography.  He applied for a scholarship for a fourth year (It was a 3 year school at the time) and switched to painting.  He’s painted and created sculpture ever since.

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Leonel Góngora

1932-1999

Leonel Góngora was born in Cartago, Colombia. He studied at Escuela de Bellas Artes in Bogota, Colombia, and with Max Beckman at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1959 he traveled to Europe, living in Italy. From 1960 to 1963 he lived in Mexico City and was a founding member of Nueva Presencia, and Salon Independiente. He moved to New York City in 1963. Góngora’s work is full of powerful images of human mortality, repression, and strife. It is fueled by his experiences in his homeland of Columbia.

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Jay Milder (http://www.jaymilder.com/)

b. 1934

Jay Milder was born in Omaha, Nebraska, a descendent of the Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the patriarch of Hasidism and mystical Judaism and the Hasidic mystic Reb Nacham (1772-1810) of Breslov, who founded a branch of Hasidic Judaism that emphasizes joy and intensity in living life through God. –> Milder showed his first major series, called Subway Runners, in 1960 at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City. Then, in the late 1960s, he began a series of approximately 250 fully expressionistic, earth toned, smaller paintings entitled Messiah on the IND and Other Biblical Tales, which was based on themes from the Old Testament. When 40 of these paintings were shown in 1987 in a traveling exhibition that premiered at the Richard Green Gallery in New York City, the renowned art critic Donald Kuspit declared them to be “Impressive enough for me to say…that after Nolde’s biblical pictures, these are the best and most integral group of biblical pictures of the 20th century.”

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Peter Passuntino (http://www.passuntino.com)

b. 1936

Peter Passuntino, was born in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 18, Passuntino was selected to be in a group show at the Carnegie Institute, and at 19 he was selected for a one-man show at the Artist Guild in Chicago. From 1954 to 1958 he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Then, upon receiving a Fulbright Fellowship in Painting, Passuntino spent time in Paris, from 1963 to 1965. While in Paris he studied art at the Istitut de Arts et Archeologie and exhibited in a solo exhibition entitled “Bad Manners, A Happening at the American Arts Center” (1963).  During his time at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Passuntino was an organizer of the Exhibition Momentum Group, and he served as the group’s chairman in 1958. The Exhibition Momentum Group was successful in expanding the Chicago-Midwest art community and in bringing emerging and established artists from the East Coast to Chicago as panelists and jurors of the exhibitions.

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Nicholas Sperakis (http://nicholas-sperakis.squarespace.com/)

b. 1943

Nicholas Sperakis, the youngest of the original Rhino Horn artists, was born in New York City. He decided to become an artist when he was nine, upon his first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, during which he saw a portrait of a soldier holding his helmet by Rembrandt. Sperakis studied on scholarships at the Art Students League from 1961 to 1963, at the Pratt Graphics Art Center from 1960 to 1963, and at the National Academy of Design from 1960 to 1961. In 1963, Sperakis exhibited in the Annual Print Exhibition of Mercy Hurst College in Pennsylvania and won the First Prize Purchase Award. He also had his first one-man exhibition at the Paul Kessler Gallery in Provincetown. In 1964 he was elected into the Society of American Graphic Artists and his work was exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum Print Biennial as well as among the New Acquisitions at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Provincetown.

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June Leaf

b.1929

June Leaf was born in Chicago. She was included in “Human Concern and Personal Torment,” which was curated by Robert M. Doty at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY in 1969. Leaf is married to American photographer Robert Frank. They live in New York City and Nova Scotia, Canada. While she was not a recurring member of the group, Leaf briefly exhibited with Rhino Horn in an exhibition at Rabinovitch and Guerra Gallery at 63 Crosby Street in New York City in 1973, as well as at the Ankrum Gallery in Los Angeles in 1974. She was included in the group’s “White Catalog.”

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Isser Aronovici

1932 – 1994

Isser Aronovici founded the Phoenix Gallery (one of the Tenth Street Galleries) and was an original member of the radical anti-avant garde  No! Art Movement. He showed with the Rhino Horn Group at the Odyssey House at 115 East 57th street in 1971 and in 1973 at the Herbert Benevy Gallery at 542 La Guardia Place in New York City. Several of his paintings appeared at numerous other New York galleries, such as the Bowery Gallery, as well as on the walls of Peter Dean’s studio and apartment.

 

 

 

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