Mercer Island Reporter, 1998

"Islanders will host Skondovitch exhibit"

Abstract Expressionist painter Alfred Skondovitch, a founding figure of the New York School, will exhibit his paintings from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Belden-O’Meara home, 8453 S.E. 63rd St., Mercer Island.

The exhibit is hosted by area collectors Lisa Belden, Kerry and John Oldenburg and Matt O’Meara. The public is invited to meet the artist and see his new paintings.

During World War II, Skondovitch studied art in London. His student work earned him a job as Oscar Kokoschka’s studio assistant and he was included by Kokoschka in an exhibition of international art at London’s Wartime International Club, the same show which marked the debut of the important post-war painter Lucien Freud.

Upon the advice of one of his teachers, Skondovitch traveled to New York. There he met Franz Kline, with whom he shared a studio and became close friends. Skondovitch attended the Hans Hofmann School and he and Kline regularly exhibited together along with other early Abstract Expressionists. In 1956 Skondovitch, in the company of such painters as Kline, Willem deKooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert DeNiro, Nell Blaine, and Milton Resnick, was included in the Wagner College exhibition Ten Americans which heralded the New York School, the first brand of authentically American art.

Of the ten artists in this landmark show, Skondovitch is one of two participants who is still living.

Skondovitch has spent the last 40 years of his career in Alaska, where he became a successful business owner while continuing to paint.

Now retired from his reprographic business, he remains active in the Fairbanks community and presently serves as chaplain and historian of the Pioneers of Alaska.

His canvases, monotypes, and prints have been exhibited in numerous museums and private venues. Site 250 Fine Art in Fairbanks represents his work.