|Biography from RoGallery.com:|
|Listed "Who was Who in American Art"|
Born Karlsbad, Czechoslovakia
Rotter Art School, Prague; Ruskin Art School, Oxford University,
England; ASL New York; New School, NY; also with Frederic Taubes.
Exhibited: 38 National Juried Exhibitions, 14 Museum Solo Shows and 51 Gallery Solo Exhibitions.
Author: Portrait Painting, 1964; Painting the Nude, 1968.
It's a long way from sketching in leftover coffee to painting a portrait of Ethel Kennedy for the cover of Time Magazine,
twenty-five years in fact; and during that period, Jan De Ruth's
personal experiences have been enough to fill two ordinary lifetimes.
Through them all, art has sustained him and been his primary interest.
begin with, De Ruth, a native of Czechoslovakia and now an American
citizen, spent the years of World War II being shunted through five
different concentration camps, including the infamous Auschwitz.
He made four escape attempts and finally made good on his fifth try.
Ruth constantly sought materials with which to draw, but "The only
things we had were the few pieces of cloth we wore," he recalls.
By chance, he was transferred to Germany as part of a labor detail and
managed to sneak a pencil away from the camp supervisor. "I became a
perfect thief during those years," he says. De Ruth drew a mother and
child on a scrap of paper he scrounged from the factory where he worked
and filled it in with shadings of coffee in various strengths-his
finger was his brush. He exchanged the sketch for a piece of
bread from a camp guard, and in effect, sold his first painting.
March of 1945, after being transferred to his native Czechoslovakia, he
made his successful escape "knowing every step of the way." After
the war, De Ruth became the commissar in a small Czech town and
remained in the post for one year, just long enough to forge some
documents that allowed him to flee to England. He took up
residence in London and enrolled at the Ruskin Art School in Oxford
University. He arrived in the USA in 1948.
There are times
in the life of a painter when his dedication to his art is overshadowed
by the immediate requirements of self-preservation. This was one
of those times! From '48 to 1955 he supported himself by working at
night, earning his way painting designs on neckties and bathroom cups;
as a fashion designer, illustrator, vacuum cleaner salesman, theatre
manager, and actor. In '55 Jan De Ruth made his professional
debut as a full-time artist and two years later his first one-man show
established him as a serious painter.
His work has been
acclaimed for combining the technique of the Old Masters with a modern
manner, and has been exhibited in more than 40 one-man shows in
galleries and museums across the United States. He has been
judged positively by juries in 28 national exhibitions, and his
numerous awards include the Purchase Prize of the Butler Institute of
American Art, and the Gold Medal of the National Arts Club.
De Ruth, author of the books Portrait Painting and Painting the Nude,
has devoted his entire life to painting the female face and form.
He enjoys special popularity as a portraitist, and has become one of
the best known painters of the nude female in the world today.
Often asked why he concentrates on this most demanding of all art
subjects, he replies: . . . "Each painting of the nude becomes a new
experience . . . It (the human figure) is nature's most perfect and
most imperfect creation, communicating, even in silence and immobility,
the physical and spiritual power-and frailty-of humanity."
sophisticated, outspoken and well informed, De Ruth has also been a
welcome guest on radio and television shows. But, it is painting
that gives a purpose to Jan De Ruth's existence: "It is an unending
challenge-there is no end, no final result-to be found in painting the
human body. I have never seen two gestures that are alike, but so
are the possibilities of expression. There will always be
painters who will find one more way of saying: "See! This is what I
feel about humans." . . . So until a greater challenge and a more
profound symbol comes along, it is the human figure I wish to paint."
Butler Institute of American Art Purchase Prize
Oguniquit Art Center
Knickerbocker Artist 1964
Audubon Artist, Grumbacher Purchase Prize
National Arts Club of America Gold Medal
Windsor-Newton Award of the National Arts Club
ONE MAN MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS
B'nai B'rith Museum - Washington D.C.
Florida Gulf Coast Art Center - Clearwater, Fla.
Mint Museum of Art - Charlotte, N.C.
Neville Public Museum - Green bay, Wisconson
Lauren Rogers Museum - Laurel, Miss.
Theodore Wright Art Center - Beloit, Wis.
Bowling Green State College - Bowling Green Ohio
Catawba College - Salisbury, N.C.
East Central State College - Ada, Oklahoma
Fairleigh Dickinson University - New Jersey
Rochester Public Library - Rochester, N.Y.
Allied Artists of America
American Artists Professional League
Berkshire Art Association, Berkshre Museum
Boston Society of Independent Artists
National Academy of Design
National Arts Club
New York City Center
New York State Exposition
Ogunquit Art Center
Painters and Sculptors Society of New Jersey
Princeton Art Association
Springfield Museum Eastern States Exposition
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