Alan Gussow is among America’s most distinguished artists. Renowned for his inventive and tenacious blend of abstraction and realism, Gussow’s artistic vision is poetic and profound. In a career that spanned nearly fifty years, he achieved significant recognition as an artist, environmentalist, and educator. Gussow’s unique imagery captures the intimate link between man and the environment, invoking his personal encounters with the smells, sounds, tastes, and tactile sensations of nature.
Driscoll Babcock Galleries has handled the work of Alan Gussow since 2001. The gallery has staged four solo exhibitions of his work: Alan Gussow: Cold Elation (2015), Alan Gussow: Interrupted Spring (2013), Alan Gussow: A Painter’s Nature (2009) and Alan Gussow: Oils (2006). Additionally, Gussow’s work has been the subject of more than a dozen solo museum exhibitions, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The National Arts Club, New York; Flint Institute of Arts, MI; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; and the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME.
Over the past few years, the gallery has placed works by Gussow in several prominent private and public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; and Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME. In addition, Gussow’s work can be found in public collections throughout the United States and in Europe, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; Flint Institute of Arts, MI; Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA; Montgomery Museum of Art, AL; Greenville County Museum of Art, SC; and the National Museum, Udine, Italy.
A graduate of Middlebury College, Gussow went on to study painting at Cooper Union from 1952 to 1953. During his studies, Gussow became the youngest American to be awarded the Prix de Rome, and traveled to the American Academy in Rome where he worked from 1953 to 1955. In 1977, Gussow received the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Art. Throughout his career, he published numerous articles, essays and monographs including the book, A Sense of Place: The Artist and the American Landscape (1998), which paired four decades of American landscape painting with excerpts of the artists’ writings. Both this book as well as his previous publication, The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism (1993), were accompanied by full exhibitions which traveled to museums and galleries nationwide.
In addition to being recognized as an artist, Gussow was avid environmentalist and activist. He advised Senators Robert F. Kennedy and George McGovern on key environmental issues, served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Earth, and was a strong national presence serving as an expert witness on environmental conservation issues before Congress and several legislative committees. He served as a Consultant in the Arts for the National Park Service, and was an active teacher for 40 years. Gussow played a significant role in establishing the fine arts program at the Parsons School of Design, where he taught through 1968. He taught at several universities, including Sarah Lawrence College; the University of Massachusetts; Middlebury College; Iowa State University; American Academy in Rome; and the University of California in Santa Cruz, where he held positions in both the Environmental Studies and the Art Department.
Born in New York City and raised in Rockville Center, NY, Gussow later moved to Piermont, NY where he lived and worked until his death in 1997.