Joseph Solman

Affiliation: Spokane Art Center Instructor

Joseph Solman was born in 1909 and emigrated from Russia to the United States when he was three years old. He studied drawing under Ivan Olinsky at the National Academy of Design during the late 1920s.

Solman was one of the founders of “The Ten,” a progressive group of artists whose members included Mark Rothko, Ilya Bolotowsky, Adolph Gottlieb, and Louis Harris. He was active in the easel division of the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project from 1936 to 1941 and served as an instructor at the Spokane Art Center in Spokane Washington.

He was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Phillips Memorial Gallery in Washington D.C. in 1949 and in 1961 he received an award in painting from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Solman’s work is often described as innovative, merging realism with abstract expressionism. His cityscapes combine cubist surrealist overtones with realism in small, direct gouaches of signs, store windows, and sidewalk cellars.

Sources: Joseph Solman [electronic document] (New York, New York: International Fine Print Dealers Association, accessed 07 July 2006); Internet. Collection records, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane.