American Abstract Expressionist painter in a biomorphic style influenced by Surrealism. Born in Pittsburgh. Studied at the National Academy of Design in New York 1933-6 and afterwards worked 1936-40 on the WPA Federal Art Project, first as a teacher and later as an easel painter. Attracted to Surrealism in the early 1940s, became friendly with Matta and Motherwell, and experimented in 1942-3 with various types of automatism. First one-man exhibition at Art of This Century, New York, 1944. Collaborated with Motherwell, Hare, Rothko and later Newman in running the art school The Subjects of the Artist 1948-9. Attained about 1950-2 his characteristic style usually based on a few elemental animal or plant forms in an underwater setting. Died in New York.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.37