elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Behind the Cover: Leo Manso

Leo Manso was an abstract painter and collagist, and he at 78 years old his home in Manhattan. He kept a home also in Provincetown, Mass.

Mr. Manso was widely regarded as a leading influence on the art of collage. Robert Motherwell called him "one of collage's masters." Dedicating an exhibition of Mr. Manso's works in Provincetown in March 1991, Mr. Motherwell said, "Seductively beautiful as the work is at first sight, it holds its own like iron, a visual poetry that never compromises, never loses its inner life."

Mr. Manso's work is known for its fluid composition and rich use of color. It is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Corcoran Gallery and other museums. He held more than 40 one-man shows in galleries in many countries.

The most distinctive artist to work for Pocket Books between 1943 and 1945, Manso had a tremendous impact on the company's look. His version of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, although not very exciting-three hands reaching for the black bird against an orange background-is one of the rarest and most collectible of all paperbacks.

Mr. Manso, who was born in New York, joined the faculty of the Art Students League in 1976, and continued to teach there until his death. He also taught at Columbia University, New York University and other institutions, and was artist in residence at Dartmouth College in 1985. A Leader of Provincetown Art Scene.

An important force in the development of Provincetown as one of America's leading art colonies of the 1940's, Mr. Manso participated with Hans Hofmann and Jackson Pollock in the "Forum 49" exhibition there and was a co-founder of Gallery 256. In 1958, he and Victor Candell established the Provincetown Workshop, a summer school that attracted students from around the world until it closed, in 1976.

For many years he served on the board of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, championing the work of younger artists. In 1977, he was one of the founders of the Long Point Gallery in Provincetown, along with artists like Mr. Motherwell, Tony Vevers and Paul Resika.

In addition to his wife of 58 years, he is survived by two sons, Peter, of Truro, Mass., and Victor, of Manhattan.

His wife, Blanche, said the cause was heart failure.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/09/arts/leo-manso-dies-collagist-painter-and-teacher-78.html

Tags: behind the cover

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