Can an Artist Have a Second Life after Death?

When most of us die, we remain as a memory for our family and closest friends. For artists, it can be different...With a bit of luck and help from those who have loved us.

Raymond Spillenger, a 1950s-60s artist belonging to the New York school of Abstract Expressionism, who died a few months ago (in November 2013 at the age of 89) has suddenly come back on the scene - propelled there by the New York Times in a fascinating article: see here.

But all that didn't happen by pure chance. Spillenger's two sons discovered his paintings stacked up in his East Village apartment; here is son Paul among the paintings:




As you can see, Spillenger's early work fitted in the mold of Abstract Expressionism - no surprise there, he worked in New York in the 1950s and most of his friends were abstract expressionists, including De Kooning; the latter however clearly overshadowed him and went on to become recognized as a major artist in the movement, leaving Spillenger (and who knows how many others) in the dust. 

There was even a moment in Spillenger's life that he stopped painting - no doubt, he was deeply disillusioned. That's easy to understand, all artists go through these dark periods...

He managed to climb out of the depression and late in his life,in the 1990s, he started painting again. And the stuff he produced this time is eye-catching and much more personal. For example, this semi-abstract nude:


I think it's breathtakingly beautiful and full of movement...

Your views?

My hope is that this is an artist headed for revival - it would be surely well-deserved.

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