Audrey Flack

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Audrey L. Flack (born 1931 in New York) is an American artist. Her work pioneered the art genre of photorealism and her art is expressed through painting and sculpture. Audrey Flack has numerous prestigious degrees including both a graduate and an honorary doctorate degree from Cooper Union in New York City. Additionally she has a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and attended New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts where she studied Art History. Audrey Flack is a highly celebrated artist, her work is displayed in several prestigious museums including The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Audrey Flack’s photorealist paintings were the first photorealist paintings to be purchased for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, and her legacy for photorealism lives on to influence many American and International artists today. Audrey Flack has lectured to many students on the subjects of art and art curating, and continues to hold influence over the art world as we know it today. J.B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky organized a prestigious retrospective of her work, and Flack’s pioneering efforts into the world of photorealism brought attention to the genre and assisted to popularize it to the extent that the genre remains today.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Flack studied fine arts in New York from 1948 to 1953, studying under Josef Albers among others.[2] She earned a graduate degree and received an honorary doctorate from Cooper Union in New York City, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University. She studied art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.[3]

  • 1953 Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, NY
  • 1952 BFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • 1948-51 Cooper Union, New York, NY[3]


Flack's early work in the 1950s was abstract; one such painting paid tribute to Franz Kline. The ironic kitsch themes in her early work influenced Jeff Koons.[citation needed] But gradually, Flack became a New Realist and then evolved into photorealism during the 1960s. She was the first photorealist painter to be added to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in 1966.[4]

The critic Graham Thompson wrote,

"One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also called super-realism, radical realism, or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Chuck Close, and Audrey Flack as well, often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs."[5]

Art critic Robert C. Morgan writes in The Brooklyn Rail about Flack's 2010 exhibition at Gary Snyder Project Space, Audrey Flack Paints a Picture, "She has taken the signs of indulgence, beauty, and excess and transformed them into deeply moving symbols of desire, futility, and emancipation."[6]

Flack has claimed to have found the photorealist movement too restricting, and now gains much of her inspiration from Baroque art.[citation needed]

Flack is currently represented by Gary Snyder Gallery. Her work is held in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Australia.

She was awarded the St. Gaudens Medal from Cooper Union, and the honorary Albert Dome professorship from Bridgeport University. She is an honorary professor at George Washington University, is currently a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and has taught and lectured extensively both nationally, and internationally.[3]

In 1986 Flack published Art & Soul: Notes on Creating, a book expressing some of her thoughts on being an artist.[7]

Flack lives and works in New York City and Long Island.

Solo Exhibitions[edit]

2007 "Daphne Speaks: An Exhibition of Sculpture and Master Workshop Prints" , University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 2007 "Audrey Flack: Abstract Expressionist", Rider University Art Gallery, Lawrenceville, NJ 2007 "Plasters and Disasters - Audrey Flack's Recent Sculpture", Kingsborough Community College, NY 2002 "Drawings, Watercolors and Sculptures - Responses to 9/11", Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York 2001 "Plein Air Watercolors and Drawings", Bernaducci-Meisel Gallery, New York, New York 1999 "Icons of the 20th Century", Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia 1998 "Audrey Flack - New Work", Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, New York 1996 "Daphne Speaks", Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York 1996 "Amor Vincit Omnia", Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia

Public Collections[edit]

Public Collections (Partial) ` Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Dallas, Texas University of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio Stuart M. Speiser Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC HHK Foundation for Contemporary Art, Inc., New York, New York Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, San Francisco, California National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut Capricorn Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC New York University Collections, New York, New York Reynolda House Museum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia Speed Museum of Art, Louisville, Kentucky Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington North Carolina The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Florida [8]

Legacy and honors[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Flack, Audrey, Thalia Gouma-Peterson, and Patricia Hills. Breaking the Rules: Audrey Flack, a Retrospective 1950-1990. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992.


  1. ^ Meisel, Louis. "Biography of Audrey Flack". Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Audrey Flack papers, circa 1952-2008". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Biography". Audrey Flack. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Audrey Flack Biography". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Graham: American Culture in the 1980s (Twentieth Century American Culture), Edinburgh University Press, 2007
  6. ^ Morgan, Robert C. (November 2010). "Audrey Flack and the Revolution of Still Life Painting". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  7. ^ Flack, Audrey. (1 October 1986). Art & Soul: Notes on Creating. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-24443-1. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Meisel, Louis. "The Biography of Audrey Flack". Audrey Flack. Louis Meisel. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 

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