30 May 1931 |
New York City, U.S.
|Education||The High School of Music & Art
New York University Institute of Fine Arts
|Known for||Painting, Sculpture|
Flack has numerous academic 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 Institute of Fine Arts where she studied art history. In May 2015, Flack received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Clark University, where she also gave a commencement address.
Flack's work is displayed in several major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Flack's photorealist paintings were the first such paintings to be purchased for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, and her legacy as a photorealist lives on to influence many American and International artists today. J. B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, organized a retrospective of her work, and Flack’s pioneering efforts into the world of photorealism popularized the genre to the extent that it remains today.
Early life and education
Flack attended New York's High School of Music & Art. She studied fine arts in New York from 1948 to 1953, studying under Josef Albers among others. 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.
- 1953 New York University Institute of Fine Arts, New York City
- 1952 BFA, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
- 1948-51 Cooper Union, New York City
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. 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.
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."
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."
Flack is currently represented by the Louis K. Meisel Gallery and Hollis Taggart Galleries. 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.
In 1986 Flack published Art & Soul: Notes on Creating, a book expressing some of her thoughts on being an artist.
Flack lives and works in New York City and Long Island.
Audrey Flack is best known for her photorealist paintings. The genre, taking its cues from Pop Art, incorporates depictions of the real and the regular, from advertisements to cars to cosmetics. Flack's work brings in everyday household items like tubes of lipstick and, most commonly, fruit. These inanimate objects often disturb or crowd the pictorial space, which are often composed as table-top still lives. Flack often brings in actual accounts of history into her photorealist paintings, such as World War II' and Kennedy Motorcade.
Audrey Flack's sculpture is often overlooked in light of her better-known Photorealist paintings. In this interview, Flack discusses the fact that she is self-taught in sculpture. She incorporates religion and mythology into her sculpture rather than the historical or everyday subjects of her paintings.
- 2015-2016 "Heroines: Audrey Flack's Transcendent Drawings and Prints," Williams Center Galleries, Lafayette College, PA; The Hyde Collection Art Museum & Historic House, Glens Falls, NY; The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
- 2015 "Audrey Flack: The Abstract Expressionist Years," Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
- 2012 "Audrey Flack: Sculpture, 1989-2012," Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, NY
- 2010 "Audrey Flack Paints a Picture," Gary Snyder Gallery, New York, NY
- 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
- 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
- Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York
- Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington North Carolina
- The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Florida 
- East Hampton Center of Contemporary Art, East Hampton, New York
Legacy and honors
- 2007 Honorary Ziegfeld Award, Keynote Speaker, National Art Education Association, New York City
- 2004 Honorary Doctorate, Lyme Academy of Art
- 1995-96 U.S. Government National Design for Transportation Award, presented by Jane Alexander, N.E.A. Chairman, and Federico Pena, Secretary of Transportation, awarded for the Rock Hill Gateway project
- 1994 Honorary Professor, George Washington University
- 1989-93 Member of the Board of Directors, College Art Association of America
- 1985 Artist of the Year Award, New York City Art Teachers Association
- 1982 Saint-Gaudens Medal, Cooper Union
- 1977 Cooper Union Citation and Honorary Doctorate
- 1974 Butler Institute of Art Award of Merit
- Baskind, Samantha, Jewish Artists and the Bible in Twentieth-Century America,Philadelphia, PA, Penn State University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-0-271-05983-9
- Flack, Audrey, Thalia Gouma-Peterson, and Patricia Hills. Breaking the Rules: Audrey Flack, a Retrospective 1950-1990. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992.
- Mattison, Robert S., Audrey Flack: The Abstract Expressionist Years, New York, Hollis Taggart Galleries, 2015, ISBN 978-0-988-91397-4.
- Flack, Audrey, Art & Soul: Notes on Creating, New York, Dutton, 1986, ISBN 0-525-24443-3
- Meisel, Louis. "Biography of Audrey Flack". Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "Oral history interview with Audrey Flack," Archived November 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art website (2009 Feb. 16).
- "Audrey Flack papers, circa 1952-2008". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Biography". Audrey Flack. audreyflack.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Audrey Flack Biography". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Thompson, Graham: American Culture in the 1980s (Twentieth Century American Culture), Edinburgh University Press, 2007
- Morgan, Robert C. (November 2010). "Audrey Flack and the Revolution of Still Life Painting". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Flack, Audrey. (1 October 1986). Art & Soul: Notes on Creating. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-24443-1. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Meisel, Louis. "The Biography of Audrey Flack". Audrey Flack. Louis Meisel. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- Official website
- "Audrey Flack: Breaking the Rules"
- Audrey Flack in the Indianapolis Museum of Art
- Audrey Flack in National Gallery of Victoria
- Audrey Flack exhibition, the Guggenheim Museum
- My Portrait of Anwar Sadat by Audrey Flack, Archives of American Art Blog, Smithsonian Institution
- Audrey Flack Biography: Hollis Taggart Galleries