new-york

Albert York, Landscape with Two Pink Carnations in a Glass Goblet, 1983, oil on wood, 12 7/8 × 12".

Albert York

Matthew Marks Gallery

Albert York, Landscape with Two Pink Carnations in a Glass Goblet, 1983, oil on wood, 12 7/8 × 12".

When Calvin Tomkins profiled Albert York for the New Yorker in 1995, the artist had shown regularly since 1963 and had acquired a quite glamorous collector base. But he was a private man and his work is private, too, even while instantly entrancing (one of its many paradoxes), and he was also a painter of apparently calm figurative scenes, landscapes, and floral still lifes mostly around a foot or so tall and wide—this in the period of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. Despite York’s relative success, then, he was obscure—hence Tomkins’s neat and again paradoxical description of him as America’s “most highly admired unknown artist.”

Born in 1928 in Detroit, York went to art school on and off as a young man, but much of his education was self-directed: “I looked at just about everything in the Metropolitan,” he told Tomkins, and he particularly liked Albert Pinkham

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