Goldberg's paintings spread things out and pile them up, obliterating the one with the other, rather than arranging them, or relating them to one another. The energy of these non-arrangements, describable only as events rather than consequences, is where the musicality resides. The idea of immediacy requires roughness — that which has not yet been defined-refined by interpretation. This tends to involve considerable discord but little or no discontinuity...anyone seeking to psyhcologize this stuff [would be brought] to the conclusion that Goldberg was either completely mad or entirely sane, and we know that in fact he lies, like us all, somewhere between the two.

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Michael Goldberg 1924–2008

Michael Goldberg defies classification. Often described as a second generation Abstract Expressionist; the Bronx-born artist began carving out his place in the canon when he started painting in 1939 at the age of fifteen. He had finished high school a year earlier and enrolled in classes at City College. His foray into collegiate life was short lived, however. More interested in the Jazz clubs near campus, Goldberg started skipping classes and promptly dropped out. At the age of seventeen, like many of the leading artists of the time, he began studying under Hans Hofmann. After the outbreak of World War II, Goldberg enlisted in the United States Army as a paratrooper and earned a purple heart for his service—an honor befitting of the man described by so many as immensely generous, gregarious and formidable. Upon returning to the states, Goldberg continued to study under Hofmann and participated in Leo Castelli’s groundbreaking Ninth Street Show in 1951. A regular at the Cedar Bar in New York, he was known for having involved conversations about painting and for telling epic tales from his past. Needless to say, he befriended many artists who also frequented the famed watering hole including poet Frank O’Hara who would become a lifelong friend and occasional collaborator.

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