An interview with Irving Petlin conducted 2016 September 13 and 15, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art at Petlin's home in New York, New York.
Petlin speaks of his childhood in Chicago, where he attended the Art Institute Children's school; his grandparents; his early artistic influences, including Munch, Van Gogh, Redon, Matta, and Gorky; the influence of the Chicago Imagists; studying art at Yale University; his military service in Army Intelligence; his studio on the Monkey Block in San Francisco; the Dilexi Gallery; living and working in Paris; working as a visiting artist at UCLA; his decision to use primarily pastels in his work; his series on Edmond Jabes, Primo Levi, and others; his witnessing of the Paris protests against the Algerian War; his involvement in protests and artworks against the Vietnam War in the U.S.; his involvement in the Art Workers Coalition; and his practice of working in series. Petlin also recalls Leon Golub, Claes Oldenberg, Nancy Spero, Joseph Randall Shapiro, Josef Albers, Varujan Boghosian, William Bailey, Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Jim Newman, Eva Hesse, Robert Birmelin, R.B. Kitaj, Ed Kienholz, John Weber, Virginia Dwan, Mark di Suvero, Leo Castelli, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Interviewee Irving Petlin (1934-2018 ) was a painter in New York, New York. Interviewer James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator of New York, New York.
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.
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Funding for this interview was provided by the Lichtenberg Family Foundation.