Milton Resnick

Ukraine 1917 – United States of America 2004

Rachmiel, later Milton, Resnick was born in Bratslav in what was then Russia on 8 January 1917, and migrated with his family to the United States of America in 1922. He briefly studied commercial art at the Pratt Institute, New York, after which he attended the American Artists’ School in New York in the mid 1930s during which time he established a long-lasting friendship with Willem de Kooning. After serving with the US Army during the Second World War, Resnick lived in Paris from 1946 to 1948. He returned to New York where he enrolled in, though rarely attended, the Hans Hoffman School in the late 1940s, then taught at the Pratt Institute during 1954 and 1955 and at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1955 to 1956. Since then he has held a number of temporary teaching posts. It was not until 1955, at the age of thirty-eight, that the artist held his first solo exhibition in New York at the Poindexter Gallery which led some critics and writers to categorise Resnick as a ‘second generation’ Abstract Expressionist.

Resnick exhibited with a number of galleries during the 1950s and early 1960s, was included in many group shows, including Artists of the New York School: Second Generation Paintings by Twenty Three Artists, at the Jewish Museum, New York, in 1957, Action Painting 1958, at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, in 1958, and American Abstract Expressionists and Imagists, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1961, exhibiting regularly in the Annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Resnick received his first solo museum show at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, in 1955, whilst a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, 1955–56. It wasn’t until fifteen years later that he received his second major museum exhibition, Milton Resnick: Selected Large Paintings, organised by the Fort Worth Art Center Museum in Texas in 1971. The artist exhibited with the Max Hutchinson Gallery, New York, from 1972 to 1982 and in 1979 established a long association with the Robert Miller Gallery, New York, with whom he still exhibits regularly. A major retrospective exhibition Milton Resnick: Paintings 1945–1985 was held at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas, in 1985. Resnick died on 12 March 2004, in New York, where he had lived and worked for many years.

See more works by this artist in the NGA collection

Milton Resnick Pink fire 1971 © Milton Resnick, Courtesy Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Purchased 1973 Learn more