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 Joseph Ablow  (1928 - )

About: Joseph Ablow


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: pastel still-life painting, art teaching

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BIOGRAPHY for Joseph Ablow
1928 (Salem, Massachusetts)

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pastel still-life painting, art teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Growing up in his birth place of Salem, Massachusetts, Joseph Ablow, painter and art educator, early pursued his interest in art by spending time from childhood at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, took a B.A. degree in art from Bennington College, and an M.A. degree from Harvard University.  Among his art teachers were Karl Zerbe, Ben Shahn, Oscar Kokoschka and Gyogy Kepes.

From 1972 to 1995, Ablow was professor of art at Boston University, and has also lectured and written extensively about art.

He likes painting still lifes because he is painting from life.  Pastel is a favored medium because they "stay so crisp, especially if one avoids over-blending." (31)  Of still life as a subject, he said:  "I had found a subject and, in its unique way, a non-subject that was both dynamic and passive.  The ginger jars and compote dishes were real, particular and palpable, and yet were possessed of no inherent significance except as it might be revealed by the painter in the context of a painting." (29)

His working method is to arrange his still lifes under the north light in his studio.  Before painting, he often lets the arrangement sit for several weeks, making changes so that it seems 'right'. 

Ablow shares his studio with his wife, Roselyn, who does monotypes and collages.

Robert K. Carsten, "Joseph Ablow", The Pastel Journal, August 2006, pp. 27-32

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