Irving Sandler

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Irving Sandler
Born Irving Sandler
(1925-07-22) July 22, 1925 (age 91)
New York City
Occupation Writer, educator, curator
Education M.A. U. of Pennsylvania, 1950
Ph.D. New York University, 1976
Alma mater Temple University, 1948

Irving Sandler (born July 22, 1925 in New York City) is an American art critic, art historian, and educator. He has provided numerous first hand accounts of American art, beginning with abstract expressionismin the 1950s, where he managed the Tanager Gallery downtown and co-ordinated the New York artists' ZT 'Club' of the New York School from 1955 to its demise in 1962[1] as well as documenting numerous conversations from the Cedar Street Tavern and other artists venues. Sandler saw himself as an impartial observer of this period, as opposed to polemical advocates such as Clement Greenberg or Harold Rosenberg.


Sandler was raised in Philadelphia. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps for three years in the Second World War. He received a bachelor's degree from Temple University in 1948, and a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. He did some additional graduate work at Columbia University, but ultimately finished a doctoral degree at New York University much later, in 1976.[2][3] He started writing art criticism at the behest of Thomas B. Hess for ARTNews in 1956, and was a senior critic there through 1962.[2][4] He has taught at several universities, including the Pratt Institute, New York University, and the State University of New York at Purchase, where he was appointed a professor in 1972.[2][3]

Sandler has curated several critically acclaimed[citation needed] exhibitions including the "Concrete Expressionism Show" in 1965 at New York University, which featured the work of painters Al Held and Knox Martin and the sculptors Ronald Bladen, George Sugarman and David Weinrib,[5] and "The Prospect Mountain Sculpture Show" in 1977.[6] Many American artists have been interviewed by Sandler, including first generation abstract expressionists such as Robert Motherwell, Willem DeKooning, Phillip Guston, and Franz Kline. in 1957 and later pop protagonists such as Tom Wesselmann in 1984. In the 1970s he was co-founder of Artists Space, that helped launch the careers of Judy Pfaff, Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman amongst others.[citation needed]

As indicated in the bibliography below, Sandler has written several monographs on individual artists as well as a sweeping, four-volume survey of "postmodern art" (The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (1970), The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties (1978), American Art of the 1960s (1988), and Art of the Postmodern Era: From the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s (1996).). Robert Storr has described the history, "Narrative, untheoretical--at times antitheoretical--and unapologetically focused not just on what happened in the United States but principally on what happened in Manhattan, Sandler's surveys have been widely criticized but even more widely used, not least because they are readable and deeply informed by their author's unrivaled access to the artists and art-worldings about whom he writes."[7] Sandler continues to write, and is concerned with allowing certain aspects of New York painting to be reassessed, as in his recent work on Esteban Vicente (2007). In 2009 he published Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience: a Reevaluation.

Selected Works[edit]

  • Irving Sandler (1956). "Essay". Tanager Gallery 1952-56 (New York: The Tanager Gallery). 
  • Goosen, E. C.; Goldwater, Robert; Sandler, Irving (1959). Three American Sculptors: Ferber, Hare, Lassaw. Grove Press. 
  • Irving Sandler (1959). Joan Mitchell, School of New York: Some Younger Artists. New York: Grove Press. 
  • Irving Sanler (1959). "Ibram Lassaw". Three American Sculptors (New York: Grove Press). 
  • Irving Sandler (1959). "Introduction". Tanager Gallery: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture (New York: Tanager Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1962). "Paul Burlin". Paul Burlin (New York: American Federation of Arts). 
  • Irving Sandler (1963). "Al Held". Toward a New Abstraction (New York: Jewish Museum). 
  • Irving Sandler (1963). "James Brooks and the abstract inscape". ARTnews (New York: Art Foundation). 
  • Irving Sandler (1964). "George Sugarman". Recent American Sculpture (New York: Jewish Museum). 
  • Irving Sandler (1965). Concrete Expressionism. New York: New York University Art Collection. 
  • Irving Sandler (1966). Two Decades of American Painting. Museum of Modern Art. 
  • Irving Sandler (1966). "Interview with Paul Brach, May 5, 1962". Paul Brach (New York: New York University Art Collection). 
  • Irving Sandler (1967). "Gesture and Non-Gesture in Recent Sculpture". American Sculpture of the 1960s (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art). 
  • Irving Sandler (1967). Sculpture in Environment. New York: NYC Administration of Recreation. 
  • Irving Sandler (1968). Gregory Battcock, ed. "Gesture and Non-Gesture in Recent Sculpture". Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E.P.Dutton). 
  • Irving Sandler (1969). "Introduction". Critic's Choice 1969-70 (New York: New York State Council on the Arts and the State University of New York). 
  • Irving Sandler (1970). Amerikanischer Abstrakter Expressionismus. Herrsching Ammersee: Pawlak Verlag. 
  • David W. Ecker; Jerome J. Hausman; Irving Sandler (1970). Conference on Art Criticism and Art Education. New York: New York University. 
  • Irving Sandler (May 1971). "George Sugarman". Sugarman: Sculptural Complex in an Urban Area, The First National Bank of Saint Paul. 
  • Irving Sandler (1971). "Introduction". 20th-Century Painting & Sculpture from the New York University Art Collection (New York: New York University). 
  • Irving Sandler (1972). "Abstract Expressionism". Contemporary Art 1942-72: Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (New York: Praeger Publishers). 
  • Irving Sandler (1973). "New Ways of Teaching Art History". New Ideas in Art Education: A Critical Anthology (New York: E.P. Dutton). 
  • Irving Sandler (1973). "Interview". Rudolph Baranik: Napalm Elegy (New York: Lerner-Heller Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1974). "1946-1960". The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (New York: Harry N. Abrams). 
  • Irving Sandler (1975). "Foreword". Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective View. Hempstead, New York: Emily Lowe Gallery. 
  • Irving Sander (1976). "Paintings 1947-1952". Hans Hofmann: The Years 1947-1952 (New York: Andre Emmerich Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1976). "Conversation with Irving Sandler". Fay Lansner (Swarthmore, Pa.: Ava Books). 
  • Irving Sandler (1977). "New York Schooled in the Fifties". Alex Katz: Twenty Five Years of Painting (London: The Saatchi Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1977). The triumph of American painting : a history of abstract expressionism. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 0-06-430075-7. 
  • Irving Sandler; Douglas Davis (1977). "Introduction". Art Culture: Essays on the Post-Modern (New York: Icon Editions: Harper & Row). 
  • Irving Sandler (1977). "Adolph Gottlieb". Adolph Gottlieb: Paintings 1945-1974 (New York: Andre Emmerich Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1977). "The American Years". Hans Hofmann (United Kingdom: Museum of Modern Art, Oxford). 
  • Irving Sandler (1978). The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties. New York: Harper & Row. pp. 174–195. ISBN 0-06-438505-1. 
  • Irving Sandler (1978-9). Abe Ajay/Selections 1964-1978. Purchase, N.Y.: Neuberger Museum.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Irving Sandler (1978). "Introduction". Mary Frank: Sculpture/Drawing/Prints (Purchase, NY: Neuberger Museum). 
  • Irving Sandler (1978). "Foreword". Allan D'Arcangelo: Paintings of the Early Sixties (New York: Neuberger Museum). 
  • Irving Sandler (1978). "The Line: As Form and Metaphor". Questions New York Moscow New York Moscow (San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). 
  • Irving Sandler (1979). "Artists Space". 10 Artists/Artists Space (Purchase, N.Y.: Neuberger Museums). 
  • Irving Sandler (1979). "Art as Auto-Image". Images of Self (Hampshire College). 
  • Irving Sandler (1979). Alex Katz. New York: Hudson Hills. 
  • Irving Sanler (1979). "Introduction". The Prospect Mountain Sculpture Show: An Homage to David Smith (Lake George, NY: Lake George Arts Project). 
  • Irving Sandler (1979). "Abstract Expressionism". The New York School 1940-1960: The First Generation of Abstract Expressionism (Reno, NV: Sierra Nevada Museum of Art). 
  • Irving Sandler (1979). "Introduction". Michael Torlen/Seven Planets (Purchase, NY: Neuberger Museum). 
  • Irving Sandler (1979). "The Sculpture of Richard Stankiewicz". The Sculpture of Richard Stankiewicz: A Selection of Works from the Years 1953-1979 (Troy: University Art Gallery SUNY Albany). 
  • Irving Sandler (1980). "Al Held: 1959-1961". Al Held: 1959-1961 (New York: Andre Emmerich Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1980). "Interview with Rosalind Bengelsdorf Browne". Byron Browne (1907-1961): Paintings and Gouaches, c. 1950 (New York: Washburn Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1981). "George Sugarman and Construction Sculpture in the 1960s". Shape of Space: The Sculpture of George Sugarman (Omaha, Nebraska: Joslyn Art Museum). 
  • Irving Sandler (1981). "Alex Katz 1957-1959". Alex Katz 1957-1959 (New York: Robert Miller Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1981). "The School of Art at Yale: The Collective Reminiscences of Twenty Distinguished Alumni". 20 Artists: Yale School of Art 1950-1970 (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery). 
  • Irving Sandler (1981). "Provincetown in the Fifties: A Memoir". The Sun Gallery: An Exhibition at Provincetown Art Association and Museum (Provincetown: Provincetown Art Association). 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). Concepts in Construction: 1910-1980. New York: Independent Curators Incorporated. 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). Al Held: 1954-1959. New York: Robert Miller. 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). "Statement". Abstract Painting: 1960-69 (New York: P.S. 1). 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). Philip Pearlstein. New York: Alpine. 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). Concepts in Construction: 1910-1980. New York: Independent Curators Incorporated. 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). "Essay". Balcomb Greene (New York: ACA Galleries). 
  • Irving Sandler (1982). "Douglas Davis: The Drawings". Douglas Davis: Video, Obietky, Grafika (Warsaw: Muzeum Sztuki). 
  • Irving Sandler (1983). Mark Rothko: Paintings 1948-1969. New York: Pace Gallery Publications. 
  • Irving Sandler (1985). Al Held. New York: Hudson Hills. 
  • Irving Sandler and Amy Newman, eds. (1986). Introduction, Defining Modern Art: Selected Writings of Alfred H. Barr, Jr. New York: Harry N. Abrams. 
  • Irving Sandler (1987). Introduction, The Empire State Collection: Art for the Public. New York: Harry N. Abrams. 
  • Irving Sandler (October 1988). American Art of the 1960s. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 978-0-06-438507-7. 
  • Irving Sandler (1991). Brower Hatcher: Structures. New York: Center for International Contemporary Arts. 
  • Irving Sandler (1993). Roy Neuberger: Patron of the Arts. Purchase, N.Y: State University of New York at Purchase. 
  • Irving Sandler (1993). "Agnes Martin Interviewed by Irving Sandler," Agnes Martin: Paintings and Drawings 1977-1991. London: Serpentine Gallery. 
  • Irving Sandler (1996). Art of the Postmodern Era: From the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s. New York: IconEditions. ISBN 0-06-438509-4. 
  • Irving Sandler (1999). Stephen Antonakos. Hudson Hills Press. ISBN 978-1-55595-164-1. 
  • Irving Sandler (March 1999). Natvar Bhavsar: Painting and the Reality of Color. Fine Art Publishing. ISBN 90-5704-061-1. 
  • Irving Sandler (2003). A Sweeper-up After Artists: A Memoir. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-23813-4. 
  • Irving Sandler (December 2003). Judy Pfaff. Hudson Hills Press. ISBN 978-1-55595-222-8.  Introduction by Russell Panczenko.
  • Irving Sandler (January 2005). "Deconstructive Constructivist". Art in America: 111–115. 
  • Irving Sandler (2006). From Avant-Garde to Pluralism: An On-The-Spot History. Hard Press Editions. ISBN 978-1-889097-68-8.  A collection of Sandler's writings spanning six decades.
  • Irving Sandler (2006). From Avant-Garde to Pluralism: An On-The-Spot History. Lenox, Mass.: Hard Press Editions. 
  • Irving Sandler (2009). Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience: a Reevaluation. Hudson Hills Press. ISBN 978-1-55595-311-9.  Forward by Raphael Rubinstein.
  • Irving Sandler (2010). The Collector As Patron in the Twentieth Century. New York: Knoedler Gallery. 


  1. ^ Sandler, 2003.
  2. ^ a b c Sorenson, Lee (ed.). "Irving Sandler". Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Irving Sandler". Cue Art Foundation. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  4. ^ Bui, Phong; Yau, John (July–August 2006). "Irving Sandler with Phong Bui and John Yau". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  5. ^ Sandler, 2006.
  6. ^ Sandler, 2003. "The Prospect Mountain Sculpture Show" was held at Lake George in Upstate New York overlooking David Smith's Bolton Landing residence in 1977.
  7. ^ Storr, Robert (April 2004). "Good fella: Robert Storr on Irving Sandler". Artforum. Retrieved 2010-12-28.  Storr's article is a review of Sandler's 2003 memoir, A Sweeper-up After Artists.

External links[edit]