|Death Date: 1995
|Raphael Gleitsmann was asked during a 1982 interview why he had stopped painting at 44. Gleitsmann’s response was both wistful and hard-boiled: “It’s something like having a belief-believing that what you’re doing is of importance. When you lose the belief, it seems there’s no return. Mostly, I just found I really had nothing to say anymore”.
As a fledging artist during the Great Depression, he focused on such colloquial American subjects as town squares on winter nights and rolling pastures. After the war he abandoned this indigenous subject matter. At the same time Jack Pollock was finding ways to infuse a new American vibrancy and energy into the art scene, Gleitsmann painted mood-drenched landscapes brimming with cemeteries, lone churches and ominous skies. Never a lighthearted painter, Raphael Gleitsmann took on an even bleaker aspect after his experiences in WWII. Thus, he faded into relative obscurity, not because he was a port painter, but because his neoromantic* sensibility was out of step with the time.
Gleitsmann died in 1995, at the age of 85, without having gone back to painting.
*sense of images that are nostalgic