Sigmund Abeles (American, b. 1934)

Abeles—who frequently depicts portraits of those around him, other artists, and himself—has stated, “the depiction of the human form is everything.” Much of his richly detailed work is highly emotive and intimate, including poignant illustrations of his then-wife. In his self-portraits, he particularly portrays life as an artist, along with its physical and psychological struggles.

Abeles was born in Brooklyn and raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He received his BA from the University of South Carolina and MFA in painting in 1957 from Columbia University. Abeles taught at the University of New Hampshire for 17 years before moving on to the Art Students League of New York where he stayed until 2000. Currently, Abeles’s work is being held in various collections, including the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Library of Congress, Washington DC.