Fred Mitchell (artist)

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Fred Mitchell
Madison Fred Mitchell

(1923-11-24)November 24, 1923
Died May 21, 2013(2013-05-21) (aged 89)
New York City
Nationality American
Known for Painting
Movement Abstract expressionism

Madison Fred Mitchell (November 24, 1923 – May 21, 2013) belonged to the New York School Abstract Expressionist artists whose influence and artistic innovation by the 1950s had been recognized around the world. New York School Abstract Expressionism, represented by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and others became a leading art movement of the post-World War II era.


Fred Mitchell was born November 24, 1923, in Meridian, Mississippi.[1] Following graduation from Meridian High School, Mitchell attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, until his studies were interrupted by military duty. After serving in the Army, Mitchell enrolled in the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he eventually received his M.F.A.[2]

He died New York City on May 21, 2013.

Studied painting

Participation in the Downtown Art Scene

In 1947 Mitchell was the winner of Pepsi Cola cash award of $1,500; He sailed to Rome. During his visit to Rome he met painters John Heliker, Afro (Basadella), and Philip Guston, who had major influence on his work. Returning to the US, in 1951 Mitchell moved to New York City and became one of the first painters to open a painting studio in the downtown seaport area along the East River known as Coenties Slip (Manhattan). He soon joined the "Downtown Group"[3] which represented a group of artists who found studios in lower Manhattan. In 1952 Mitchell, Angelo Ippolito, Lois Dodd, Charles Cajori and William King organized the Tanager Gallery,[4] which belonged to the Tenth Street galleries. His friend Philip Pavia introduced Mitchell to 'The Club'.[5]

Mitchell was also a highly regarded teacher:

Teaching Positions

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 1945: "Soldier Art" National Army Arts Contest, National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C.
  • 1946-1949: Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI
  • 1953, 1954: "New York Painting and Sculpture Annual," Stable Gallery, New York City
  • 1954-1955: "Young American Painters," circ., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City
  • 1955: "Vanguard Artists," Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • 1956, 1960: "The Founding Five," Tanager Gallery, New York City
  • 1958: "Young American Painters," Rome-New York Foundation, Rome, Italy
  • 1961: Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1962: "Museum of Modern Art in Embassies," Manila, Philippines
  • 1967: "Art in American Embassies Abroad," U.S. State Department
  • 1968: "Will Insley, Fred Mitchell and Steve Poleskie," A D White Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • 1974: "Nine Artists, Coenties Slip," Whitney Museum of American Art, Downtown, NY
  • 1975: "Paintings and Watercolors," Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, NJ
  • 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1983: Buecker & Harpsichords Gallery, NY
  • 1980-1982: "New York Painting," Landmark Gallery, New York City
  • 1985: "The Gathering of the Avant-Garde: The Lower East Side, 1948-1970," Kenkaleba House Gallery, New York City
  • 1990: ULAE Gallery," Waterworks", New York, NY
  • 1998: Gallery X, "Revelations", Harlem, NY
  • 1999: Katherina Rich Perlow Gallery, "The Abstract Tradition: Fred Mitchell, John Ferren, Stephen Pace, John Grillo", New York, NY
  • 2004: The Rockford Art Museum, "Reuniting An Era: Abstract Expressionists of The 1950s", Rockford, IL
  • 2007: Hackett Freedman Gallery, "A Culture in the Making: New York and San Francisco in the 1950s", San Francisco, CA
  • 2008: Robert Miller Gallery, "Beyond The Canon: Small Works in American Abstraction 1945-1965", New York, NY


  1. ^ Herskovic, Marika, New York school : abstract expressionists : artists choice by artists: a complete documentation of the New York painting and sculpture annuals, 1951-1957, New Jersey: New York School Press, 2000, p.253
  2. ^ "Madison Fred Mitchell Obituary". The Meridian Star. June 15, 2013. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. ^ Downtown Group
  4. ^ Tanager Gallery:Paintings and sculpture
  5. ^ Artists' Club
  6. ^ Instructors and Lecturers-Past and Present at the Art Students League of New York Archived 2010-01-20 at the Wayback Machine.


  • United States. Army Service Forces. Special Service Division.; National Gallery of Art (US), Soldier art ([Washington] Infantry Journal, ©1945.
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Younger American painters; a selection (from the exhibition held) May 12 to July 25, 1954 (in) the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1954.) p. 32
  • Tanager Gallery, Paintings and sculpture (New York, 1956.)
  • Franz Kline; Fred Mitchell; Albert Boime; New York (State); State University at Binghamton; University Art Gallery, Neuberger Museum, Franz Kline: the early works as signals. Selected and organized by Fred Mitchell (Binghamton, N. Y. State University of New York, 1977.)
  • Charles Le Clair, The art of watercolor (New York : Watson-Guptill Publications, 1994.) ISBN 0-8230-0291-8 p.  84-85
  • Marika Herskovic, New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists, (New York School Press, 2000.) ISBN 0-9677994-0-6 p.  32; 38; 250-253;
  • Melville Price, Perle Fine, Robert Richenburg, Michael West, Fred Mitchell, Yvonne Thomas, Abstract expressionism: second to none : six artists of the New York school (Chicago : Thomas McCormick Gallery, 2001.) p.  10-11
  • Mary Abbott, Janice Biala, Fritz Bultman, Perle Fine, Fred Mitchell, Melville Price, Robert Richenburg, Yvonne Thomas, Abstract expressionism: second to none : eight artists of the New York school (Chicago : Thomas McCormick Gallery, ©2004.) p.  14-15
  • April Kingsley, John Corbett, Jim Dempsey, Thomas McCormick, Georgia Museum of Art, Suitcase paintings : small scale Abstract Expressionism (Chicago, Ill. : Art Enterprises : TMG Projects, ©2007.) p. 45
  • Smithsonian Institution Research Information System; Archival, Manuscript and Photographic Collections, Fred Mitchell

See also

External links

  • Fred Mitchell papers in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
  • Fred Mitchell paintings from
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