John E. "Jack" Bosson
September 18, 1937 - November 1, 2012
Jack Bosson was born in Western Pennsylvania, grew up in Florida, and served in the Navy before turning his focus to art. He studied painting at Cooper Union and then received a Fulbright to study in Paris in 1963. He went on to earn a Masters in Fine Art at Cornell.
During the 1960’s he was an active regional painter in upstate New York with numerous exhibitions and reviews. He arrived in New York City in 1970 and was a founding member of the infamous 55 Mercer Street, which was the first gallery operated by artists in Soho. He exhibited at the prestigious Fishbach Gallery in 1972 an 1973, and he continued to show at 55 Mercer through the early 1980s. During this time he was reviewed by such critics as Grace Glueck and Carter Ratcliff in Art in America and Art News.
One of the highlights of Bosson’s early career was a commission from NASA in 1967 to create two paintings of the solar eclipse as seen by astronauts during the Gemini 12 orbital flight, a project that led to his Navigator Series. He also received many grants and awards, including an NEA grant in 1980.
Throughout the 30 years on the East Coast, Bosson also held teaching positions at Cornell, Fairleigh Dickenson University,and SUNY Albany. During this time, his work was collected by The Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, Chase Manhattan Bank, The NY Port Authority, and Best and Company.
In 1987, Bosson moved with his family to California and had his first exhibition at Tortue Gallery, an established contemporary gallery in Los Angeles. He also continued his teaching career, shifting to the entertainment industry. He was an instructor at the Gnomon School of Special Effects in Hollywood where he produced his DVD lecture series, “Drawing the Figure”, which is a classic text still in print today. His teaching career flourished and he eventually became the Chair of the Animation Department at Woodbury University in Burbank. He also worked at Disney.
Bosson’s last 30 years were spent in academia, but his love was painting. His California period represents some of his most inventive and highly resolved work.