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Nicholas Krushenick

American, 1929 - 1999

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One of Nicholas Krushenick's childhood memories is of his fascination in watching a colorful mural progress toward completion in the Greek Orthodox church his family attended. By the time he was in the army, he had begun to consider a career as a professional artist, and a month after he was discharged, he entered the Art Students League in New York on the GI bill, studying there from 1948 to 1950. Krushenick then attended the Hans Hoffman School(1950-1951), studying directly under Hoffman, whom he came to admire greatly.

As a student, and continuing through the 1950s, Krushenick explored abstract expressionism. He also constructed stage sets, created department-store window displays, worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as a framer, and managed an antique shop. In 1957 Krushenick cofounded the cooperative Brata Gallery in New York with his brother, John. Until 1962 the Krushenicks exhibited their own work there, along with the work of other artists such as Al Held and George Sugarman. By 1960 Nicholas Krushenick was employing the black outlines and confined areas of flat, brilliant color that characterize mature style. Krushenick's first important one-man show was held at the Graham Gallery, New York, in 1962. In 1964 he was included in the Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition organized by Clement Greenberg for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In August of that year Art in America included him in its "New Talent U.S.A." survey.

Krushenick has been a teacher since the mid-1960s, serving as visiting artist at numerous institutions, including the Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts in New York, as well as Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Minneapolis School of Art, the University of Wisconsin, and Yale University. He currently teaches at the University of Maryland.

Krushenick began to experiment with screenprinting in the late 1950s and became an active printmaker by the mid-1960s. In 1965 he was awarded a fellowship at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, where, working with master printers Kenneth Tyler and Clifford Smith, he completed twenty-two lithographs during his two-month tenure. He has since executed screenprints at Edition Domberger, Stuttgart, and Galerie der Spiegel, Cologne.

A major exhibition of his work was held at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in 1968, at which time Krushenick designed sets and costumes for the adjacent Tyrone Guthrie Theatre's production of Franz Josef Haydn's comic opera, Man in the Moon. The Jaffe-Friede Gallery at Dartmouth College exhibited a selection of the paintings and screenprints he produced while he was artist-in-residence there in 1969. Other one-man exhibitions include those held at the University of South Florida (1970), University of Alabama, Birmingham (1973), Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Oregon (1974), California State University, San Bernardino (1975), State University of New York, Alfred (1976), Newport Art Association, Rhode Island (1977), Metropolitan Museum of Miami (1979), Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (1981), Stamford Museum, Connecticut (1988), and the University of West Florida, Pensacola (1988). (Fine/Corlett 1991, 119-120)

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