Luis De Jesus Seminal Projects is pleased to announce NATHAN GLUCK: Limited Time Offer, an exhibition of 45 original collages, on view in The Rotunda Gallery at the La Jolla Athenaeum of Music & Arts Library, from September 20 through November 8, 2008. You are warmly invited to attend an artist's reception on Friday, September 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Nathan Gluck achieved acclaim as Andy Warhol’s principle studio assistant from the early 1950s through the mid-1960s in Warhol’s pre-Pop commercial art studio. Gluck and Warhol met through mutual friends in early 1950 and were employed in the same world of window design that fueled Warhol’s early reputation. During this time they also exhibited together at the Loft Gallery. Two years later, in late 1952, Gluck went to work for Warhol in the top-floor railroad flat on Lexington Avenue that the artist shared with his mother, Julia Warhola. Over the next dozen years Gluck played an instrumental role in helping to shape and create many of Warhol’s most famous illustrations, ads and designs from that period. He also assisted Andy Warhol with his early transitional Pop pieces, before Warhol established “The Factory.” In his book, Warhol: Conversations about the Artist, Patrick S. Smith writes:
Nathan Gluck’s work may be considered as being synonymous with [Warhol’s] commercial art. In fact, it is almost impossible to separate Nathan Gluck’s 'Warhols' from Warhol’s 'Warhols.'
Gluck played a key role in the development of some of the techniques Warhol employed in his pre-Pop work. Among the techniques he taught Warhol were how to marbleize paper (which Warhol employed in works exhibited at the Loft Gallery), painting on glass, and the use of stamps carved from rubber gum or ‘soap’ erasers (employed ubiquitously throughout the 1950s in Warhol’s famous ink drawings of flowers, birds, butterflies, and shoes). This archaic form of reproduction may very well have introduced Warhol to the concept of the ‘multiple’ and influenced his decision to use silk screen later on in his fine art. Indeed, this ‘convenience’ was not lost on Warhol as he absolutely hated the manual labor tied to painting.
Over the past 60 years Nathan Gluck has produced over 1,400 original collages combining a wide assortment of techniques and materials. His earliest collages, created in the 1930s, pay homage to Max Ernst and Picasso, while those produced from the early 1990s through the present (Gluck turned 90 years old his past June)—including those included in this exhibition—display the finely honed sensibility and confidence of an artist at complete ease with his skills and knowledge. Composed of a staggering variety of printed ephemera collected by the artist and his friends, and combining a range of printed detritus—matchbook covers, wine labels, ticket stubs, fruit stickers, club flyers, photos and newspaper ads (to name just a few)—from around the world and the past several decades, these works play on words, forms, colors and, above all, on styles. Their vintage is sometimes Belle Èpoque, sometimes the swinging 60s and sometimes the dubious fin de siècle.
In 1997, Gluck had his first solo exhibition of 85 collages at the Reinhold Brown Gallery in New York, which received a glowing review in The New York Times from art critic Roberta Smith. In the spring of 2001, another solo exhibition, Nathan Gluck: Collages, opened at the new Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, PA. Gluck has appeared in dozens of print and television interviews detailing the career of Andy Warhol, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; La Jolla Athenaeum of Music & Art Library, La Jolla, CA; and numerous private collections worldwide.
Nathan Gluck was born on June 24, 1918 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. In the 1930s, Gluck attended the Art Students League and the Cooper Union in Manhattan, and the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY. During World War II he served in the Pacific Theater and upon his return to New York he began a successful career as an illustrator and art director. In 1954, while assisting Andy Warhol, he designed the cover for Fortune Magazine; he also designed windows for Bonwit Teller and Tiffany’s, and Christmas greeting cards for Tiffany, Museum of Modern Art, Bergdorf Goodman, Georg Jensen, and Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, among others.