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 Aristodemis Kaldis  (1899 - 1979)

About: Aristodemis Kaldis
 

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Lived/Active: New York / Turkey      Known for: abstract landscape

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Untitled (Black Mountain, Hydra), ca. 1965
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Painter Aristodimos Kaldis studied at the Gymnasium of Lesbos and the Evangelika of Smyrna in Turkey. He was a WPA artist in the mural division and chief of research for Diego Rivera. Kaldis exhibited extensively in New York including the Artists Gallery, New York; the Society of Independent Artists; the Stewart-Marean Gallery, New York; Kornblee Gallery, New York; and the "NYC WPA Art" exhibit at Parsons School of Design. Kaldis was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1975-1977.

Source:
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Biography from MB Fine Art, LLC:
Aristodomis Kaldis would be more widely recognized as one of the most original painters of his day, had he been less of a Bohemian and less of a public personality. Instead, he tends to be pigeonholed as a naive painter. However, naive he was certainly not. The true naive is obsessed by the need for finish, to make things look real. If he paints a wall, he will describe each brick. Kaldis, on the other hand, had an unfailing knack for knowing where and when to stop. Like Bonnard, like Kandinsky, he stops painting as soon as he sees what the action of the painting has taught him. He was as much an action painter as the New York abstract expressionists, Gorky, Pollock, Kline, and de Kooning, who were his friends and colleagues.

Lawrence Campbell

One of the things that you have to have to understand Kaldis' paintings is you have to be interested in painting. You can't expect to respond to Kaldis' paintings unless you have both an understanding of, and a real appetite for painting. He was a virtuoso at addressing that appetite. He had it. he could transmit it. It was in his fingertips and it's one of the qualities that gives his work it's distinction, I think.

Hilton Kramer

Everything Mr. Kaldis paints is invested with the passion and extravaganceof his personality, which is given to uncontained outbursts of feeling and a whimsical ebullience.

Obituary 1979 May 3
The New York Times by C. Gerald Fraser

Chronology:

1899- August 15, Born to Efstratios and Ourania Kaldis in Dikeli (Atarneus) Turkey, grows up in Mytilini, Lesbos, Greece. Gymnasium, Lesbos and Evangelika Seminary, Smyrna, Turkey

1915- Takes over management of Kaldis shipping firm

1917- Emigrates to Boston, Massachesetts via Newport News, Virginia

1919- Visits Paris

1917-1922- Worker and interpreter at Hood Rubber Company, Watertown, MA

1920's- Studies writing and accounting procedure at Lasalle Business College, studies English in Night School

1930-1935- Migrates to New York City, becomes Economist in Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, Local #6, leads Waldorf-Astoria strike

1934- Meets Laurie Elaine Eglington, Art Critic and Editor of Art News at home of dancer, Maria Theresa, adoptive daughter of Isadora Duncan. Three months later marries Laurie Elaine Eglington.

1935-1938 Writer and Administrator for the Mural Division of the Art Project (WPA) New York City; meets Kline, Gorky, Rothko, and DeKooning

1938-1939- Trip to England, France, Italy, and Greece to visit relatives

1940- Laurie Eglington Kaldis separates from Kaldis and moves to Buffalo with son, Guy. Works as assistant to Directors, Andrew Ritchie and then Gordon Washburn. Kaldis becomes full time painter in New York City.

1941- December, first one-man show, Artists Gallery. Dr. Albert Barnes acquires Negro Looking at Modern Art, first living American artist to be so honored.

1942- November, one-man show at Carlen Galleries, Philadelphia

1944-1950- Key to Modern Art Lecture Series, Carnegie Hall, studio [Bill De Kooning assists by running the latern slide projector.]

1946- Lecturer at the Rand School

1948- May, Artists Gallery group show

1950- Washington Square Inn group show

1951- Artists Gallery group show. November, Leonardo Da Vinci lecture, Miami, Florida. December, Artists Gallery, one-man show.

1956- September, Reunion on Lexington Avenue, Artists Gallery

1957- April, large picture of Kaldis with scarf, cover of Village Voice. October, The Thirties, group show, with Pollock, Krasner, De Kooning, Brandt, Davis, Graham, Gorky, Kline, Reinhardt, Resnick, Rothko, at the Poindexter Gallery.

1957-1959-Articles in It Is, published by Philip Pavia.

1959-Picture in N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine Section, April 19, 1959. April, Stewart-Marean Gallery, one-man show. November, Art News, Feature Article with Color Plates. November, Rome-N.Y. Art Foundation, foreword by Herbert Read.

1962-Museum of Modern Art, Spoleto International Exhibition, traveling show for one year. October, Kornblee Gallery, one-man show. November, painting on cover of Art News.

1964- Kornblee Gallery, one-man show.

1965- June, Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto Exhibit. September, Hecksher Museum, Huntington, Long Island.

1966- ART USA Show in New York Coliseum. August, guest Lecturer, Univeristy of Oregon. Kornblee Gallery, one-man show.

1971- Samos workshop, taught at the Pythagorean School of Art

1974- Landmark Gallery, 118 Artists, 1974, 1975

1975- Guggenheim Fellow in Painting

1977- May, NOEMATA, Brooklyn Museum, group shpw of Greek-American artists. September, Kornblee Gallery, one-man show. November, Group Show with De Kooning, Krasner, Brandt, at Philadelphia College of Art, Lecture.

1978- Second Guggenheim Fellowship. WPA Show, at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University. November, one-man show at the Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore. Lecture at Maryland College of Art. November 23, Parsons School Lecture.

1979- May 2, dies at the age of 79.

1993- January 12, Homage to Kaldis, Artists Equity Panel at Art Students League.

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