Michael Goldberg 1924 —2007


Stuck like some of his peers with the label "second-generation Abstract Expressionist", Mr. Goldberg shrugged it off. "Labels come and go," he told Saul Ostrow, the conceptual artist who was a close friend, in a 2001 interview for the magazine Bomb. "It makes no difference to what you're trying to do." He saw abstract painting, he told Mr. Ostrow, as "still the primary visual challenge of our time.  It might get harder and harder to make an abstract image that's believable, but I think that just makes the challenge greater."
MICHAEL GOLDBERG  (American  December 24, 1924 - December 31, 2007)


Michael Goldberg, a second generation Abstract Expressionist painter known for his action-packed canvases, went through several phases that included monochromatic works of red and then black, bands of white on black, calligraphic images and bright bands of color hinting of architectural forms. He was also an art educator who taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1961 to 1962; Yale University in 1967 and the University of Minnesota in 1968.

Goldberg was born in 1924 in New York City. His studies at the Art Students League, 1938-1942, were interrupted by World War II where he served as a paratrooper in North Africa and Burma, making eighty jumps behind Japanese lines.

Returning to New York, he studied with Jose de Creeft and Hans Hofmann, and Hoffman remained a strong influence. He was also influenced by Roberto Matta and Arshile Gorky, but it was Willem de Kooning, and his use of fiery brush-work and explosive color, which would prove to be Goldberg's greatest influence.  Goldberg worked for most of his career in the Bowery studio that had been the studio of Mark Rothko.

In 1951 his work made its first public appearance in the Ninth Street Show, a groundbreaking exhibition of the new New York avant-garde organized by the club and the dealer Leo Castelli. In 1953 the Tibor de Nagy Gallery gave him his first solo show.

Michael Goldberg came into prominence in the late 1950s, early 1960s just as Color field painting, Hard-edge painting and Pop Art emerged onto centerstage. With the changing of fashions in the art world; his greatest accomplishments as a painter weren't sufficiently recognized; and as many of his generation his work was overlooked for many years.  Although by the 1970s and 1980s his work began to achieve recognition and appreciation and he enjoyed a long, successful and a celebrated career as an abstract painter. His work like others of the abstract expressionist generation expressed a painterly integration of Western metaphysics and Eastern philosophy. Throughout his long career and into his mature years, he continued to teach, paint, and exhibit his work. His classes at the School of Visual Arts were well attended by devoted students, and admirers.

Goldberg's work is in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Whitney Museum of American Art and many others.

An important source for modern and contemporary American & European Art in East Hampton, New York & worldwide, Janet Lehr Fine Arts' spectacular wide-ranging inventory consists of unique paintings, drawings, large & small scale sculpture, monotypes, prints and photographs  by Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Fernando Botero, Cartier-Bresson, Marc Chagall, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, David Hockney, Winslow Homer, Wolf Kahn, Jeff Koons, Fernand Leger, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Thomas Moran, Henry Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Cindy Sherman, Charles Sheeler, Bert Stern, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol, Carleton E Watkins, Tom Wesselmann and Andrew Wyeth.

To bookmark Janet Lehr Fine Arts Gallery website: http://www.janetlehrfinearts.com

View synoptic biography below.


Pastel and charcoal

23.25 x 14.75 inches 59 x 37.46 cm
Signed and dated on the lower right, Goldberg '52

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