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See expressionist art from late Sarasota artist Syd Solomon in St. Petersburg

October 24, 2018 - Cathy Salustri for Tampa Bay Creative Loafing

You may not have heard of Syd Solomon (but we bet you have), but his presence, even posthumously (he died in 2004) still vibrates through Sarasota. He came to Sarasota because of the Battle of the Bulge. For real — he was an aerial camouflage specialist in WWII, and he came away from the Battle of the Bulge with a nasty case of frostbite. After that, no one could blame him from wanting to keep warm, and so, in 1946, he and his bride decided to call Sarasota home. 

He was the driving force behind the Fine Arts Institute at Sarasota's New College, not only helping to start the Institute but also encouraging his friends — all artists — to teach there. Those friends? Conrad Marca-Relli (1913-2000), Larry Rivers (1923-2002) and Philip Guston (1913-1980).

No shocker, then, that the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art accessioned his art — marking the first time that the Ringling accessioned a living artist. 

Come see Views from Above, a collection of Solomon's abstract expressionist work, at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts. The work starts in 1945 and runs through the 1980s, and it's all influenced by his chosen home (Florida!). One of his works ("Westcoastalscape") is pictured above and part of the MFA's permanent collection.

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