Victor Thall Biography

Victor Thall




Victor Thall (a.k.a. Thal) was born in New York on January 5, 1902. His formal art education began at the Art Students League in Manhattan at the age of eleven, where he studied under Arthur B. Davies, George Bellows, George Luks, and John Sloan. Further studies were at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He left for Paris in 1924, continuing his studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Academie Julien, and the Grande Chaumiere. Returning to the United States in the early 1930’s, he became friendly with Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky. He participated in the WPA New Deal Art Project of New York City between 1935 and 1939. He taught at the Art Students League in the late forties and was represented in the Whitney Annual of 1949 and 1950.

Working closely for a time with such painters as Gorky and de Kooning, Thall wasn’t content to join the burgeoning American clique of Abstract Expressionism. Instead, on the eve of its international recognition, he left New York, making a worldwide tour of indigenous cultures attempting to find a solution to the crisis of abstraction. Thall lived and painted in Mexico, the West Indies, and  in Europe. Much of his work of the late 1950s was done in Torrevieja, a fishing village in Spain, and in Palma de Mallorca. He returned to New York in 1963, leaving for Florida in 1965.

Thall relocated in the late 1960s to a small village outside Palm Springs, California. There he painted for until the late 1970s, then embarked on writing a semiautobiographical novel that consumed his artistic juices until his death in 1983. The novel remains unpublished.

Victor Thall died on June 1, 1983 in Riverside, CA.