Reuben Kadish: Classic & Surreal

Reuben Kadish: Classic & Surreal

September 24, 2018

Opening October 19th, this exhibit will explore the early career of Reuben Kadish, the artist behind the WPA commissioned fresco A Dissertation on Alchemy (1937), which survives today on the second floor landing of the Haight Street Art Center.

Reuben Kadish (1913-1992) was a young artist living in Los Angeles in the turbulent 1930’s. He rode the wave of left wing politics while studying classical art and surrealist firebrands. He championed the underdog and spiced it with a wry sense of humor. He befriended Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston with whom he collaborated on three major murals. After laying the groundwork for a career in the arts he moved to San Francisco and painted a surreal fresco, Dissertation on Alchemy. Soon he joined the Army to record horrific scenes of World War II. Upon his return his style became edgy and harsh. The latter 40 years were dominated by expressionistic sculpture and graphics. His formative years in California were crucial to a career of earthbound figures influenced by history and ancient myths.