Charles Seliger


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Painter, printmaker, and draftsman. Born Charles Marvin Zekowski in New York, as a teenager he adopted as his surname his mother's maiden name. During his early years, he developed and interest in art while living in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. Although he left high school in the tenth grade, he maintained a lifelong love literature and a devotion to reading on numerous subjects, including natural history and philosophy. He never received any formal art training but began to work under the influence of Kandinsky's early free-form abstractions, as well as an eclectic array of other inspirations ranging from J. M. W. Turner to Miró and Paul Klee. Through Jimmy Ernst, who included Seliger's work in a 1943 gallery exhibition he organized, Seliger met the major surrealists and soon developed a personal variation on their approach. Two years later, he mounted his first one-person exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century. Seliger's biomorphic forms originally derived from plants and insects, but soon became more abstract as their visual complexity suggested metamorphic processes. With their intricate, jewel-like surfaces and mysterious forms floating in a shallow but indeterminate space, his paintings related to those of the emerging abstract expressionists as well as those of committed surrealists. He continued to refine this approach in paintings generally confined to small dimensions. As a printmaker, he was particularly known for monotypes. Long a resident of suburban Westchester County, where for more than forty years he held a full–time job at a china company in Mount Vernon, he died in Manhattan

Subjects: Art.

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