Milton Resnick

American, 1917–2004

Abstract

Oil on canvas

1957

Milton Resnick was a Russian-born American Abstract Expressionist painter. Working on large-scale canvases, his compositions of muscular impasto paint form muddy imagery teetering between the brink of abstraction and representation. Resnick's subject matter often deals with the balance between art and its viewer, offering hints at the intimate relationship between artist and audience. Born on January 7, 1917 in Bratslav in the then-Russian Empire, his early life was characterized by conflict: Following his family's flee from post-Soviet Revolution Russia to the United States in 1922, Resnick left his Brooklyn home at age 17 to pursue a life of an artist. He became a founding member of the notorious first-generation Abstract Expressionist “club,” alongside such contemporaries as Willem de Kooning and Ad Reinhardt, which bolstered his critical and commercial importance from 1949 onwards. Before tragically ending his life on March 12, 2004 in New York, NY at the age of 87, Resnick showcased his works in such important collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and participated in exhibitions like the legendary 1951 9th Street Art Exhibition in New York.