- Category : Art-Fine-art-artist
- Type : PSE
- Profile : 1/4 - Investigating / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 4
American artist, a figure painter who began to make a mark in the early 1950s as a figurative painter. Known for his massive paintings of male aggression he earned a degree in art history at the University of Chicago and entered the Art Institute of Chicago on the GI Bill. In 1950 he was granted his Master of Arts degree. Eager for verbal exchange, Golub became a leader among Chicago's figurative artists in the 1950's. His work became known, although acutely out of step with the New York elite, through such controversial exhibitions as the museum of Modern Art's 1959 presentation "New Images of Man."
Feeling that New York was not capable of accepting their work, he and his wife, Nancy Spero, moved to Paris in 1959. It was the beginning of a five-year sojourn and associations with European galleries and museums. Returning to New York in 1964, Golub earned grudging respect for his work and supported his family by teaching, primarily at Rutgers University. It wasn't until the 1980's, when figurative art and political themes gained critical favor, that he reached acclaim. In 1994 he and his wife's joint retrospective, "Leon Golub and Nancy Spero: War and Memory," went on display in Paris at the American Center.
He married artist Nancy Spero in December 1951 and has three sons.
It was not until the 1980s that his works with their strong political overtones, achieved their widest recognition. He has since become a major artist of the contemporary cultural movement which he helped define.
Golub earned his master of arts degree from the Art Institute of Chicago.
With a degree in art from the University of Chicago, Golub enrolled in the Art Institute under the GI Bill. It was there Golub met his future colleague and wife, Nancy Spero, in 1946. They gravitated together because of their interest in figurative imagery and in the expression now called "outsider art." They were part of a group fraught with tension and which Golub characterized as "sexual, ideological and professional." After a strained relationship in which Spero left for Paris, she returned to Chicago and they were married December 1951.
During the 1950s Golub became a leader among Chicago's figurative artists while Spero cared for their two young sons and painted at night. A New York exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 1959, "New Images of Man," was a controversial work among the New York elite. They spent a year in Italy in 1956-57 and resisted moving to New York because they considered it a hostile environment for their art. Their goal became one of internationalizing themselves and they moved to Paris in 1959. A third son was born during their five-year sojourn in Paris. By 1964, they felt they were ready for New York, where they have lived for the past 30+ years. Golub supported the family by teaching, primarily at Rutgers University. It wasn't until the early 1980s that Golub's work in figurative art and political themes gained critical favor. Spero also continued with her art, focusing on a series of war paintings and eventually connected with the burgeoning feminist art movement.
Through the years the two artists have drawn on many of the same sources but processed the information differently. Golub, who counts pre-Columbian and late Roman art and Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, as well as current international power struggles, among his influences says he has always played out his struggles externally in aggressive images. On the other hand, Spero characterizes her artistic evolution as an internal process that has produced a relative elegiac body of work. Themes of their work have been about the world and what goes on in the world.