Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, October 4, 2012

Alfred Skondovitch's unseen works go on display

Previously unseen works by a renowned impressionist artist will be on display starting tonight at Phillips Studio & Gallery as part of the collection "A Touch of Skondovitch: Unseen Works by the Late Alfred Skondovitch."

Skondovitch, who lived in Fairbanks starting in the late 1950s, made waves in the art world with his abstract expressionist works. For art connoisseurs and Fairbanks, it's an honor that a local gallery is displaying previously unseen works, said Tammy Phillips, owner of Phillips Studio & Gallery.

"I'm absolutely impressed and lucky that we could acquire this art now while it's still available," Phillips said. "If his daughter can get it on the national stage again, it will be untouchable."

Phillips knew Skondovitch during his time in Fairbanks and even attended drawing sessions with him. She knew him for about 10 years before she became aware of his history and fame, she said.

Skondovitch was born in England in 1927 to Russian Jewish immigrants. In 1939 at 12 years old, he was evacuated to Banbury, Oxfordshire, to escape the bombings in London at the beginning of World War II. As a child, he displayed great artistic talent, and art led him to New York City in 1947 where he studied at the Hofmann School under German expressionist Hans Hofmann, whose alumni include Lee Krasner and Richard Stankiewicz.

He received much acclaim for his work and was included as one of 10 abstract expressionists at New York's Egan/Poindexter Gallery in 1956. That showing is often credited in art circles as shifting the art world's attention from Paris to New York City.

In 1958, Skondovitch was persuaded by friends to visit Alaska. He landed in Fairbanks, fighting forest fires for three summers. He met his future wife, Patti, and the two married in 1963.

The couple moved back to New York for Skondovitch to pursue his art career after the birth of their son, Sidney, but it was short lived, as they didn't want to raise a family in the city. They returned to Fairbanks after three months. His daughter, Lara, was born in Fairbanks in 1969. Skondovitch died in Anchorage in 2011.

For the show opening tonight at Phillips' gallery, Skondovitch's widow, Patti, is sharing previously unseen works by her husband. Patti will attend the reception to discuss her husband's life, career and works.

"For the community, it's huge," Phillips said.

Source: newsminer.com