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Gerome Kamrowski

Gerome Kamrowski (American, 1914-2004) Collection currently available at the Michigan Art Gallery.

Gerome Kamrowski (January 29, 1914 – March 27, 2004) was an American artist and an early participant in the Surrealist Movement in the United States. He was born in Warren, Minnesota and begun to study art in the early 1930s at the St. Paul School of Art (now Minnesota Museum of American Art - MMAA), and later to the New Bauhaus in Chicago (now Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design). He then moved to New York to study with Hans Hofmann, where he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s he lived in New York and had been working with surrealist automatism for several years. Kamrowski became an integral part of the emerging Surrealists, collaborating with William Baziotes, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Roberto Matta. This group was the kernel of the open-ended movement that was referred to as Abstract Surrealism and would over time prove to be the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism.
Gerome Kamrowski was one of the few American artists to be included in Peggy Guggenheim's Gallery, The Art of This Century in 1943. He was also exhibited at Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1951, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art at several occasions. His work can be seen in the Joe Louis Arena station of the Detroit People Mover. He exhibited his work in the 1947 International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris, and was invited to the Paris exhibition by surrealist leader André Breton. Breton would say of him, ""Gerome Kamrowski is the one who has impressed me the most by reason of the quality and sustained character of his research.""
In 1948 he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to teach at the University of Michigan School of Art. He stayed at the University of Michigan until his retirement 1982. Very few of his students over the next fifty years realized that their teacher was one of the most important artists in America. Gerome Kamrowski worked every single day at his art. He created massive domes of oil on canvas and brought strange, beaded animals to life. His work balances fluid automatism with powerful abstract imagery. The many layers of paint created a visual maze that clearly communicates an intuitive language with the viewer.
His first wife was Maryanna Fargione, with whom he had a son, Felix. His second wife was Edith Dines, with whom he had a son Kirby. His third wife was Mary Jane Dodman.
He died 2004 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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