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Sam Stetson (1911- 1990)

An American Abstract Expressionist

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sam Stetson was declared a prodigy and was sent to study at the Chicago Art Institute at the age of 15, becoming a teacher there at the age of just 18.

 

He went on to study with:

Andre Lhote, Paris 

Fernand Leger, Paris 

The Bauhaus, Germany

Hans Hoffman, in both California and New York

David Karfunkel, New York

Samuel Marcus Adler, NYU, New York

 

He would also continue teaching, and offered scholarships for young artists to study with him in his Greenwich Village studio. The scholarships were promoted in “The Villager” newspaper, and the artist was quoted as saying, now that he had “arrived somewhat” he would like to give something back from what he had gained.

 

Stetson also supported himself as an illustrator, poster designer and portraitist, working for 

several major Hollywood studios to paint portraits of the stars. He was a friend and admirer of Henry Botkin, whom he knew from his time in Provincetown and Carl Ashby, whose New York 

studio was nearby and who also worked and spent time in Provincetown in the early 1960s.

 

His work was shown widely in both group and solo exhibitions including the Karilon Gallery , Provincetown; Provincetown Art Associations; New Canaan Art Association; Greer Galleries, New York; Salmagundi Club, New York; Bezalel in Jerusalem; and The Collector’s Art Gallery in Miami.

 

He was also exhibited in the “American Show” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and his work is held by museums in Houston, Dallas, Mexico City and in Europe.  His studio, where he also taught was “Studio Workshop 199” which was located at 199 Second Avenue in New York.

 

Suffering ill health, Stetson put his paintings into storage in 1983, where they remained until his death in 1990 when the entire collection of more than 250 pieces (watercolors and oils) sold to Erwin and Faye Stern of the Collectors Art Gallery in Miami.  The estate has remained largely intact since 1991.

 

It is our pleasure to give some of these paintings their first showing in more than 25 years.

“Sam Stetson’s work reflects the concept of contemporary painting in its finest expression.  

In his personal approach to form, space and color, he has proven himself to be an outstanding painter in the abstract expressionist school.”

 

                -  Max Schnitzler (1961)