Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War

ON VIEW JANUARY 12 – MAY 12, 2024

Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War transports viewers into the beauty that Schueler, an esteemed, prolific American abstract expressionist, experienced as he flew among the clouds as a World War II B-17 navigator in the U.S. Army Air Corps. This exhibition of 26 oils on canvas and selected passages from “The Sound of Sleat: A Painter’s Life” showcase Schueler’s war-themed paintings as a collective group for the first time. His memories of the skies during combat and his undiagnosed PTSD haunted him and continually found expression in his post-war work. The title Lost Man Blues refers to Schueler’s love of the blues genre of music as well as his experiences related to the loss of a plane in his squadron after a bombing mission over Germany.

Exhibition curated by Marissa Roth

St. Nazaire: Sky Red Blues, November 1982
New York
Oil on canvas

Into Skies, June 1984
New York
Oil on canvas

Fly High, October 1984
New York
Oil on canvas

Related Events:

Thursday, April 11 | 6:30 p.m.

Paint and Sip with Kristin Cronic

Soar among the clouds with your paintbrush and friends, all while enjoying an adult beverage. This special Paint and Sip event will be led by Kristin Cronic, U.S. Navy Veteran, painting works inspired by the skies and Jon Schueler’s Lost Man Blues exhibition.

Jon Schueler, an acclaimed member of the New York School, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1916. After receiving a BA and MA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in the fall of 1941, and was sent to Molesworth, England in November 1942 as a B-17 navigator, 303rd Bomber Group, 427th Squadron. He flew missions over France and Germany and in the spring of 1943, became an Assistant Command Navigator, 8th Bomber Command, 1st Lieutenant. He was hospitalized and given medical retirement in 1944.

Following World War II, he attended the California School of Fine Arts from 1948-51 where he was part of the vibrant group centered around the artists Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, Hassel Smith and David Park. With the help and encouragement of Clyfford Still, Schueler moved to New York in 1951.

After solo exhibitions at the Stable Gallery (1954) and with Leo Castelli (1957), he spent six months in the North West of Scotland where his work, initially informed by Abstract Expressionism, became imbued with the force of the weather and the changing skies. New York became his base between 1959 and his death in 1992.

These years, however, were punctuated by many visits to Mallaig, Scotland where he acquired a studio overlooking the Sound of Sleat in 1970. The weather and light of this area became a touchstone for his preoccupation with the power of nature— whether expressed tumultuously or in subtle and hidden forms. Numerous exhibitions in both the United States and the United Kingdom took place during this period, including a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the group show Landscapes, Interior and Exterior: Avery, Rothko and Schueler at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Jon Schueler: The Search at the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Art Gallery in 1981. Schueler died in New York City in 1992, at the age of 75.

TUES-SUN 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
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