Spanierman Modern    A Division of Spanierman Gallery, LLC

Jack Roth (1927-2004) - Abstract Expressionist Painter



Jack Roth - IBID D-2, 1982
Jack Roth, IBID D-2, 1982
Acrylic on canvas, 55 x 55 inches

A painter of Abstract Expressionist canvases, Jack Roth was also a mathematician who taught in the fields of art and math over his long career and brought a mathematical eye to his paintings and drawings. 

His paintings, such as IBID D-2 (1982), typically feature vivid geometric shapes and reflect a meeting point between spontaneity and a precise understanding of the nuances of line and form.

Jack Roth was born in Brockaway, Pennsylvania.  He enrolled at Pennsylvania State University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II, in which he served in the army and air force.  In 1949 he resumed his studies at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, receiving instruction from Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, and Elmer Bischoff.  Afterwards he completed his B.A. in Chemistry at Pennsylvania State.  He went on to receive an M.A. from the State University of Iowa, where he studied with James Lechay. 

In 1954, Jack Roth participated in the Younger American Painters show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, along with Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell.  Moving subsequently to the South, he received a doctorate in mathematics from Duke University, while continuing to create art.  He taught at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and the University of Southern Florida, before relocating to Montclair, New Jersey, where he became the chairman of the mathematics department at Upsala College, East Orange, New Jersey.  In 1971 he began teaching both math and advanced painting at Ramapo College, Mahwah, New Jersey.  He was awarded the First Thomases Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to the college in 1977.

Roth received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979-80. His solo exhibitions were held at a number of locales including the Clocktower, New York; Millhouse-Bundy Museum, Vermont; Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; Ramapo College Art Gallery, Mahwah, New Jersey; and the University of Florida, Jacksonville.  A show of Jack Roth’s drawings and watercolors traveled to museums in New Jersey, Virginia, and New York in 1982-83. Roth was included in group exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; the High Museum, Atlanta; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the North Carolina Museum of Fine Arts, Raleigh; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the University of Kentucky, Lexington. Works by Roth belong to the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.


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Jack Roth - Rope Dancer, 1980
Jack Roth, Rope Dancer, 1980
Acrylic on canvas, 17-1/2 x 38-1/8 inches
Jack Roth - Metafour, 1980
Jack Roth, Metafour, 1980
Acrylic on canvas, 67 x 30 inches


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