Born 1915 in Berlin, Germany, Dzubas studied art in his native land before fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939 and settling in New York City. He came under the influence of Clement Greenberg in 1948 after responding to an ad Greenberg placed in the Partisan Review for summer lodging, with whom he remained close friends over subsequent decades. While sharing a studio with fellow abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler in the early 1950s, he produced his most important and best-remembered works characterized by flat swaths of bold colors butting up against one other.
Dzubas' monumental luminous works reveal his mastery of color, light and scale. During the 1960s, he became associated with Color field painting and Lyrical Abstraction, creating more fluid work. He used Magna paint an oil based acrylic paint, applying thick layers of color over washes, scrubbing the paint into the unprimed canvas. Throughout the sixties and seventies, he was honored with several prestigious teaching appointments and grants, including two Guggenheim fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts Painting Fellowship, and Artist-in-Residence appointments at the Institute for Humanistic Studies in Aspen, Dartmouth College, and Cornell University.
Featured image: Friedel Dzubas - Aftermath, 1978 (detail). Oil on canvas. 30 x 30 in. 76.2 x 76.2 cm. Photo courtesy Berry Campbell Gallery