Monday, May 5, 2014

The Art Students League of New York

Three weeks into my New York trip this year I finally got time to stop by and revisit The Art Students League of New York and see my old studio and my teacher Gregg Kreutz.
I spent three months painting at the league under the tutelage of Gregg Kreutz and Joseph Peller in 2011.

I love the feel of this five story historic building nestled in among the modern skyscrapers of mid town Manhattan. I've visited quite a few academies both accredited and unaccredited in NYC but none have the creative feel and history like that of the League with has been in existence since 1875.

(Me at the steps of The Art Students League of New York).

Catching up with Gregg was wonderful. He continues to be a real support to me and I'm encouraged by him to go back to paint there possibly on my next visit as Gregg and his instructors always are kind enough to make room for me there.

A couple of weeks previous to visiting Gregg at the league I called to another old institution, The Salmagundi Club with has been supporting artists as a Center for American Art since 1871. 
While there I caught an exhibit of its members among them was a self portrait of Gregg which I loved.
His paintings evoke the old masters sensibility, with their use of Chiaroscuro and lush application of oil paint.

(Self Portrait by Gregg Kreutz).

My love of Gregg's work, and his teacher David Leffel among others dates back to my discovery of the work, teachings and philosophy of Robert Henri, who taught at the Art Students League and spent many summers painting on the West Coast of Ireland mostly on Achill island.

(Image of Johnnie Patton by Robert Henri).

I would encourage you all to read Henri's book 'The Art Spirit', it never ceases to awaken and inspire something deep creativity inside of me.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Gregg once again for his gracefulness, understanding, continuing encouragement and friendship.

- Richard

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