January 23 - March 6, 2020
JACK ROTH: POETRY IN MOTION now through March 6, 2020. Poet, photographer, mathematician, university professor, and Abstract Expressionist painter, Jack Roth (1927- 2004) relentlessly pursued art and science. Ultimately, he was represented by Knoedler & Co., one of the most renowned galleries of all time, whose stable included Calder, Motherwell, Stella and Diebenkorn, among others. Rachel Chester, Roth’s wife, described him as a genius, and the hardest working person she had ever known. Roth considered himself a color field painter. His paintings are recognizable for thin contour lines or sharp edges, and soft forms, in addition to an expressive use of color. In 1980, John Russell of The Times said of Roth’s works, “These paintings are almost dangerously easy to like, but they have teeth…”
Born in Brockway, Pennsylvania in 1927, Jack Roth earned a scholarship to Pennsylvania State University in 1943 where he studied chemistry, but his tenure there was interrupted by his service in World War II. Roth moved to San Francisco in 1949 and enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts where he studied under Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Richard Diebenkorn. He re-enrolled at Penn State in 1951 and earned his Bachelor’s in chemistry, an achievement later followed by a Master of Fine Arts from the State University of Iowa in 1952, and a PhD in mathematics from Duke University in 1962.
In 1954, shortly after he relocated to New York, Roth’s paintings were included in the Guggenheim Museum’s exhibition “Younger American Painters” alongside many of the leading artists of the Abstract Expressionist group, including Pollock, de Kooning, and Motherwell. The exhibition traveled to major art museums throughout the US, serving as the nation’s primary introduction to this new American- born movement. In 1978, Knoedler & Co. in New York began their representation of Roth’s work, placing him in a prestigious company of artists such as Gottlieb, Frankenthaler, Calder, Motherwell, and Kline. Roth was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for painting the following year and continued on with his academic career, teaching mathematics at colleges in Kentucky, Florida and New Jersey. Of his unique career, Roth said, “I am looking for a mathematical explanation of art…the art of painting is a search for reality; a search for understanding.” He died in 2004, just shy of his 78th birthday. BAKER SCHORR FINE ART features modern and contemporary art as well as 19th and 20th century American and European works.
On View: March 6, 2020 | 1–5 pm
200 Spring Park Drive, Suite 105
Midland, 79705 Texas