In 1963 Richard Anuszkiewicz was invited to create the holiday card for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The small edition was a success and he was made cards for the MoMA again in 1964, 1965 and 1966. After the museum cards, Anuszkiewicz continued producing editions, working with his longtime print partner Norman Lassiter, each year until about 2006. The works typically related to what Anuszkiewicz was doing in his studio at that time. Never available commercially and produced in an edition of 150 or so, the Annual Editions were sent to friends, family and business associates. 

I’m interested in making something romantic out of a very, very mechanistic geometry. Geometry and color represent to me an idealized, classical place that’s very clear and very pure.

Richard Anuszkiewicz

Richard Anuszkiewicz 1930–2020

Richard Anuszkiewicz was born of humble beginnings in Erie, PA to working class immigrant parents. While attending a local Catholic school, the nuns noticed and encouraged his surprisingly advanced talent for drawing. At the age of 17 he won a National Scholastic Art award and then a full scholarship to the Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio where he would go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1953. That same year he won a prestigious Pulitzer travel fellowship. Rather than go to Europe like so many of his contemporaries, he opted to study under Josef Albers at Yale University for his master’s degree.

Albers, a German-born artist and educator, was one of the most influential visual arts teachers of the 20th century and his theory of color and iconic color square paintings had an enormous impact on Anuszkiewicz’s artistic development. After graduating from Yale, Anuszkiewicz returned to Ohio and studied at Kent State University where he earned a teaching degree. It was during this time that he devoted himself more seriously to painting and delved deeper into color theory and optical perception. At first, his paintings found tepid reception, with dealers complaining that his works were nice to look at but difficult on the eyes. This all changed after his solo exhibition at Contemporaries gallery in New York in 1960.

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Auction Results Richard Anuszkiewicz