Reuben Kadish Biography

Reuben Kadish




Painter, muralist, printmaker and sculptor, Kadish was born in Chicago in 1913; when he was six his family relocated to Los Angeles. At fourteen Kadish began studying with Lorser Feitelson. Politically vocal, Kadish’s pluck caught the attention of Jackson Pollock and they became close friends. Together they explored the ethnographic treasures in the Los Angeles County Museum and this would greatly influence Kadish's work.

In 1930, he enrolled in the Otis Art Institute, studying with Philip Guston. Kadish also attended the Los Angeles City College and later received a studio scholarship for the Stickney School of Art in Pasadena. He and Guston studied fresco under Siqueiros and later collaborated on murals at the University of Michoacan in Morelia, Mexico, as well as in Southern California. Relocating to San Francisco around 1933, Kadish headed the mural division for the Federal Art Project and he created a number of lithographs under the WPA.

In 1940, Kadish studied with S.W. Hayter at the California School of Fine Arts and, in 1944, he and Pollock worked at Atelier 17 in New York. After World War II, Kadish bought a farm and dropped out of the art world. After five years he began working in clay and sculpture. He returned to New York and studied at the Brooklyn Museum School and taught at Cooper Union. An invitation to work at Tamarind in Los Angeles was the impetus for Kadish's return to printmaking in 1961. Repositories of his work include the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, Fogg Museum, Harvard University, National Museum of American Art, and the Newark Museum.