Whitehot Magazine

More About WM's Claudia Schwalb

More About WM's Claudia Schwalb
Claudia Schwalb at work.

Bio Claudia Schwalb

   I began writing for COVER/Arts New York during the 1980's and became a Contributing Editor along with Judd Tully, now Editor at Large for Art & Auction and John Yau. I then wrote for The Journal of Art, Barbara Rose’s publication. Today I paint prolifically, write for whitehotmagazine.com and am the mother to one of the most glamorous teenage girls in Lower Manhattan, Heather Goldin Schwalb.

 I had exhibited my paintings at The Clocktower, the Institute for Art & Urban Resources/P.S.1/MOMA in the youngest solo exhibition ever having been given to an artist in December 1977. Christo, Oppenheim, Murray, and Morley came to my show. Vito Acconci had the tower. There he suspended a construction ball ready to demolish it. I examined tangential circles which I discovered were the way to approach three-dimensional painting. I had giant aluminum hoops fabricated in which were circular and elliptical paintings.

 I grew up on the Upper Westside in Manhattan. I suffered from undiagnosed vascular left temporal lobe epilepsoid seizures, the same malady Vincent Van Gogh had. It causes subtle brain injury and registers as if one is staring in an enraptured manner.

 Memories of watching snow falling out the window of Beth’s apartment on Amsterdam Avenue late one night. I marveled that “I am!” We were sixteen and snuck out into virgin snow. We arrived at Milos Foreman’s house in one of the mews in Greenwich Village. The great Czechoslovakian film maker and Beth were having an affair!

 At Pratt Institute, Harvey Fierstein and the transsexual art scene were all the rage. At twenty-four, apprenticing with the three-dimensional painter, Ron Gorchov, his circle included Elizabeth Murray, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Tony Smith and Richard Serra.

 Interactive art, the Children’s Museum, performance and installation art, photography and modern choreography in dance and music were my rewards. Especially, the emergence of conceptual art opened the way for archives of dollhouse paintings reminiscent of childhood visits to the Rijksmuseum, the British Museu, the Louvre, and the Sistine Chapel.

 My childhood was cool because my Dad was Cultural Liaison to Mayor Wagner. Winning the war meant nothing when it came to the cultural zoo that was New York during the 1950's. Marcel Duchamp replaced his art with chess playing. 

 The Hispanic Society, American Indian Museum, Harlem, and the Museum of the City of New York were daily haunts along with Marilyn Monroe riding a pink elephant at Madison Square Garden. Arthur Miller, Sylvia Plath and Saul Bellow echoed the general mood. The McCarthy era, the Korean War and the children of the Holocaust were ever present traumas of the inhabitants of my neighborhood.

 Mother, Audrey Rogow was a La Guardia alumni as well as attended Cooper Union College of Art. Today, remarried, she goes under the name of Audrey Hall and her work can be seen on Paintingsdirect.com. My paintings can be seen on Selfportrait.net under Studio Arts. My work can also be seen on Myartprofile.com, Arthit.ru and Starvingarts.ca. My link is http://mysite.verizon.net/vzev8zun/claudiaschwalb22/.

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Claudia Schwalb

Schwalb graduated from Pratt Institute in 1974.  She was an emerging artist during the Minimalist movement in the 1970's.  She was raised in New York City during the Abstract Expressionist era. Claudia was the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition at The Clocktower/P.S.1 in 1977.  Claudia went on to write for Barbara Rose's Journal of Art and was one of the Contributing Editors of Cover/Arts New York along with John Yau and Judd Tully (Editor-at-Large for Arts & Auction).  She was Curator of the Knitting Factory and a television news transcriber for Peter Jennings' World News Tonight.  Subsequently, Claudia transcribed two movies, "Refuge" and "Interview with the Dalai Lama" which played at the Quad last year.  claudschwa@aol.com

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