Robert Storr

Robert Storr

Artist, critic, and curator. Mr. Storr received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1972 and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978. He was curator and then senior curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from 1990 to 2002, where he organized thematic exhibitions such as Dislocations and Modern Art Despite Modernism as well as mongraphic shows on Elizabeth Murray, Gerhard Richter, Max Beckmann, Tony Smith, and Robert Ryman. In addition, he coordinated the Projects series from 1990 to 2000, mounting exhibitions with Art Spiegelman, Ann Hamilton, and Franz West, among others.

In 2002 he was named the first Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Mr. Storr has also taught at the CUNY graduate center and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies as well as the Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, New York Studio School, and Harvard University, and has been a frequent lecturer in this country and abroad. He has been a contributing editor at Art in America since 1981 and writes frequently for Artforum, Parkett, Art Press (Paris), Frieze (London), and Corriere della Serra (Milan). He has also written numerous catalogs, articles, and books, including Philip Guston (Abbeville, 1986), Chuck Close (with Lisa Lyons, Rizzoli, 1987), and the forthcoming “Intimate Geometries: The Work and Life of Louise Bourgeois.”

Among his many honors he has received a Penny McCall Foundation Grant for painting, a Norton Family Foundation Curator Grant, and honorary doctorates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maine College of Art, as well as awards from the American Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics, a special AICA award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Art Criticism, an ICI Agnes Gund Curatorial Award, and the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History from the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. In 2000 the French Ministry of Culture presented him with the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and subsequently awarded him the status of Officier in the same order.

From 2005 to 2007 he was visual arts director of the Venice Biennale, the first American invited to assume that position. Mr. Storr was appointed professor of painting/printmaking and dean of the School of Art in 2006 and was named the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean in 2014.

Philip Guston

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That Guston was not only a brilliant painter and a fearless innovator, but also a humanist who rejected easy answers about both painting and life, is made admirably clear by Robert Storr's perceptive text.

The story of Philip Guston's life is, in many ways, a chronicle of the ideas and events that transformed American painting in this century. Having been a muralist in the 1930s, by the 1940s Guston had turned away from public art to explore a more private vision. These haunting tableaux gave way in the 1950s to shimmering abstractions that represent one of the most poetic contributions to Abstract Expressionism.

In the last and most important decade of his life, Guston's work changed yet again, as he invented bizarre, cartoonlike characters to enact monstrously comic fantasies. This abrupt shift from abstraction to figuration enraged the art establishment, but it also helped embolden a younger generation of artists to risk a new style of painting that became known as Neo-Expressionism.

About the Modern Masters series

With informative, enjoyable texts and over 100 illustrations--approximately 48 in full color--this innovative series offers a fresh look at the most creative and influential artists of the postwar era. The authors are highly respected art historians and critics chosen for their ability to think clearly and write well. Each handsomely designed volume presents a thorough survey of the artist's life and work, as well as statements by the artist, an illustrated chapter on technique, a chronology, lists of exhibitions and public collections, an annotated bibliography, and an index. Every art lover, from the casual museumgoer to the serious student, teacher, critic, or curator, will be eager to collect these Modern Masters. And with such a low price, they can afford to collect them all.

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