Oral history interview with Roland Reiss, 1997 Aug.-1999 June
Reiss, Roland, 1929-
Karlstrom, Paul J., 1941-
University of California, Los Angeles
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 76 p.
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 3 min.
An interview of Roland Reiss conducted 1997 Aug. 23-1999 June 11, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Reiss' studio, Los Angeles, Calif.
A fairly lengthy discussion of UCLA included an account of studying with Jan Stussy, a Stanton Macdonald-Wright disciple, and with Macdonald-Wright himself, who took a special interest in Reiss. He also singled out as a major influence Clinton Adams who, with Macdonald-Wright, served as a model of the intellectual artist who embodied rigorous thinking and a search for meaning through critique of language. Additional topics were the difference between the San Francisco and Los Angeles art worlds, the impact of abstract expressionism and of his own paper on the subject delivered to the UCLA faculty, which Reiss remembers as the introduction of abstract expressionism at the university. After a discussion of his teaching experience in Colorado and pioneering work with plastics, Reiss recalled his interaction there with leading artists including Joan Brown, Nancy Graves, David Hockney, Clyfford Still (with whom Reiss had daily conversations), and William T. Wiley. The third session focused on his long teaching career at Claremont and an in-depth discussion of various art programs in the country and the philosophies involved. In effect, this concluding part of the interview was a history of art education and the training of artists in California presented by someone whose entire career has been connected to educational institutions.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Roland Reiss, 1997 Aug.-1999 June. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Roland Reiss (1929-) is a painter and sculptor from Los Angeles, Calif.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Funding for the transcription of this interview provided by Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001