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Michael Loew


Michael Loew

Michael Loew
Born (1907-05-08)May 8, 1907
New York,
Died November 14, 1985(1985-11-14) (aged 78)
New York City, United States
Nationality American
Field Painting
Movement Abstract Expressionism, Geometric abstraction, Hard-edge painting
Awards Judith Rothchild Grant, 1997, Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship Grant

Michael Loew (May 8, 1907–November 14, 1985) was an American Abstract Expressionist artist who was born in New York City.

In the late 1920s, Loew studied at the Art Students League with the Ashcan School and was a recipient of a Sadie A. May Fellowship which allowed Loew to continue his studies in France.[1] Michael worked as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) artist from 1933–1937 and during this time painted several murals for U.S. Post Offices, High schools, as well as being commissioned to paint a mural for the Hall of Pharmacy for the 1939 New York World's Fair. Michael chose to share his private commission with close friend and fellow artist, Willem de Kooning.[2][3]

From 1939 to 1940 Loew traveled to Mexico and the Yucatán, gathering inspiration for his future work. Joining the U.S. Navy Seabees in 1943 as a Battalion Painter, Loew documented the work being done on the airbase on Tinian Island. It was from this airbase that the Enola Gay would later take off from to drop the atomic bombs. Loew captured much of the work done on the island by the Navy in dozens of watercolors.

Returning to New York after the war, having lost much of his hearing, Loew started over with his art studies. He studied with Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown,[4] and with Fernand Léger in Paris. Loew became a member of the American Abstract Artists and The Artist's Club as well as The Spiral Group. His works were shown at the Stable Gallery Annuals of 1951-1955.[5]

In 1960 and again in 1966, Loew was hired to teach at the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent nearly three decades as a teacher at the School of Visual Arts.[6] In 1976 he won a fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 1979 he was awarded a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Over the course of his life, Michael's work was exhibited extensively in galleries, museums and other cultural institutions including: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The Michael Loew Papers are located in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1997 his estate was awarded the Judith Rothschild Foundation Grant.

Teaching positions

Awards and fellowships


  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Gallatin Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Carnegie Institute Museum of Art
  • Albright Knox Art Gallery
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Portland Museum of Art
  • Dallas Museum of Fine Arts
  • Detroit Museum of Art
  • Wichita State University
  • Farnsworth Museum
  • Hampton University
  • Israel Museum
  • Monhegan Island Museum



  • American Abstract Artists (1957). "The World of Abstract Art", pp. 167
  • Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560
  • Baur, J. (1974). Whitney Museum of American Art, Catalogue of the Collection, pp. 235
  • Campbell, L. (1984). "Michael Loew at Marilyn Pearl Gallery", Art in America, pp. 193
  • Curtis, J., Lieberman F. (1995). "Monhegan The Artists' Island"
  • Falk, Peter Hastings, (1999) Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, 3 Volumes, pp. 3724
  • Gordon, J. (1962). "Geometric Abstraction in America", pp. 68
  • Herskovic M. (2000). New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists, (New York School Press, 2000.) ISBN 0-9677994-0-6
  • Kingsley, A. (1973). "New York Letter", Art International, Apr. 1973, pp. 52–53
  • Kingsley, A. (2008). [1] "Michael Loew 1907-1985: The Beginning Works from the Estate" (Chicago and New York: Mc Cormick Gallery/ Vincent Vallarino Fine Art, 2008)
  • Larsen, S. C. (1979). "A Painter's Geometry: The Art of Michael Loew", Arts Magazine, pp. 130–134
  • Larsen, Susan C (1997) "Michael Loew: Nature into Abstraction", The Farnsworth Art Museum
  • Slivka, Rose C.S. (1989). "Willem de Kooning", Art Journal 48 no. 3, Fall '89, pp. 219–221
  • Stevens, M., Swan, A. (2006). "De Kooning an American Master"
  • Stuart P. (1949). "Abstract Quartet", New York Times, Nov. 27, 1949

External links

  • biography
  • Artnet
  • Smithsonian Archives of American Art

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