Milton Resnick

Milton Resnick was a major abstract expressionist painter and teacher known for his mystical, abstract, and figurative paintings. Born in Bratslav, Russia, he emigrated to the United States in 1922.

Resnick was one of the last survivors of the first generation of abstract expressionists. He endured near-starvation in the 1930s, painting in a garret studio in Paris, France. In the late 1940s he debated painting with Willem DeKooning, Lee Krasner, and Jackson Pollock, sometimes at The Club, a regular meeting of modern artists working in and around Tenth Street in New York. Like them, Resnick was striving for an overall quality in his pictures, a way to unite foreground and background in order to achieve a resolution of opposites, a metaphor for all dialectics. While the others moved toward throwing or dragging quantities of paint across the face of the canvas, Resnick retained a particularly personal and impassioned confrontation with brush painting.

Because he came into prominence just as pop art moved into the limelight, his great accomplishments were never recognized to the extent some thought they merited, as a painterly integration of Western metaphysics and Eastern philosophy.

In his mature years, he worked in a converted synagogue on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side of New York City, attended by devoted students, admirers, and his wife and lifelong companion, the painter Pat Passlof.
Image courtesy of Sebastian Piras