Monograph

The Estate of Friedel Dzubas is pleased to announce that the first scholarly monograph dedicated to artist Friedel Dzubas (1915-1994) is being published by Skira in 2017. The monograph, Friedel Dzubas: The Size of Life is currently being written by Director Patricia L. Lewy, PhD under the auspices of the Friedel Dzubas Estate.

Emigrating from Berlin to New York in 1939 during the rise of Nazi Fascism, Friedel Dzubas brought to American painting a bold vision of pictorial space shaped by his early exposure to German historical fine art and decorative painting. An imagist by intuition and a dramatist by temperament, Dzubas’s oeuvre can be seen as a contemporary rephrasing of historical painting. Heeding Willem de Kooning’s exhortation to consider “a whole man’s life,” this first monograph on Dzubas’s life and works marks the centennial of his birth. Fully illustrated with sixty color plates and as many black-and-white photographs, it documents Dzubas’s early life in Germany through to his mature artistic practice in America during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Dzubas’s unique position derives from the exquisite vitality, epic grandeur, and emotional heat that characterize his mature works. The asymmetries, directional sweep, and agitated rhythms splayed across the canvas suggest an internal narrative structure seemingly at odds with his commitment to pure color abstraction. Using family correspondence dating from the 1930s through the 1950s and documentary photographs of his working process, generously made available by his children Hannele and Morgan Dzubas, this will monograph represent the fullest record of the artist’s life and work to date.

Friedel Dzubas, Pilon, 1974
Magna (acrylic) on canvas,
96 ¼ x 96 1/4 in (244.48 x 24.48 cm)
Courtesy of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center of Wellesley College

Patricia Lewy is an art historian and Mozart scholar who received her PhD in historical musicology in 1991 from the University of California, Berkeley. Michael Fried (Foreword) is J. R. Herbert Boone Professor of Humanities and the History of Art, Johns Hopkins University. His recent books include Another Light: Jacques-Louis David to Thomas Demand (2014); Four Honest Outlaws: Sala, Ray, Marioni, Gordon (2011); The Moment of Caravaggio (2010), and Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before (2008). Josef Eisinger (translations) is a physicist and historian. His translations made available the essential information found in a cache of letters in the Friedel Dzubas estate written in Sütterlinschrift. He is the author of Einstein on the Road (2011), for which he excerpted English translations of Einstein’s extensive travel diaries.

Friedel Dzubas, Grand Mesa, 1977, Magna (acrylic) on canvas, 116 ½ x 277 1/4 in (295.91 x 704.215 cm), Courtesy of the Castellani Museum of Art of Niagara University, © 2016 Biff Henrich