Joseph Glasco - Paintings from the Estate

Joseph Glasco: Paintings from the Estate

March 2 – April 14, 2012

An important American painter who first came to prominence in the early 1950s, Joseph Glasco’s career began with his inclusion in a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art entitled Fifteen Americans, which also featured the work of William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still.  Recognized as a skilled painter with unique vision at an early age, Glasco became the youngest artist at that time to be included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York when the institution acquired one of his drawings in 1949.

The gallery’s upcoming exhibition will feature critical large-scale paintings from the last two decades of the artist’s career before his death in 1996. Glasco’s abstract compositions and later collage paintings represent important developments in American painting from the post-war period through the 1990s.  While Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet influenced some of the painter’s work in the 1950s and 1960s, Glasco developed his own vibrant style, especially with his lively acrylic and collage paintings.

Born in 1925 in Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma, Joseph Glasco’s family later moved to Tyler, Texas.  After beginning his studies at The University of Texas at Austin, the artist was later drafted and served in Europe during World War II.  Following the end of the war, Glasco lived for a time in Dallas and drew advertisements for the Dreyfuss Department Store before continuing his studies in Los Angeles and Mexico.  In 1949, he moved to New York and attended the Art Students’ League, where Glasco studied with George Grosz. His friendship with the collector Alphonso Ossorio introduced him to several major artists of the time, including Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet.

The artist’s paintings and drawings featured representational figures and forms with an encompassing approach to the picture plane.  During the 1950s, the artist utilized abstraction, pattern, and texture to communicate his compositions, as he spent time in Taos and traveled frequently to Europe.  Glasco’s work of later decades revealed a flatter, more patterned approach to the canvas before the artist’s final shift to the stylized collage paintings of the late 1970s through to the end of his career.  For the last decade of his life Glasco lived and painted in Galveston.

Glasco’s artwork is included in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.