Force of Nature: Gretna Campbell and Louis Finkelstein

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Location Strohl Art Center / Main Gallery

Gate pass or event ticket required. Purchase tickets at

June 24–July 15 / Opening Reception Wednesday, June 27 /  3–5 p.m.

Gretna Campbell (1922–1987) and Louis Finkelstein (1923–2000) were married and associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1950s. Finkelstein, who wrote often about that movement, would go on to become a seminal figure in American Art education, receiving the College Art Association of America's prestigious award for distinguished teaching, serving as a Dean at the Yale School of Art and later as Director of the Queens College art department for a quarter of a century. Gretna Campbell, a highly influential teacher and artist, started out painting through the Roosevelt-era Works Progress Administration. She was a pioneering feminist long before feminism took hold in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite their association with Abstract Expressionist artists, both artists also chose to remain true to their first love, painting in nature from the landscape, despite an art climate which excoriated that sensibility. While they were part of the larger contemporary conversation well into the 1980s, they are generally unknown to younger generations of artists. This traveling exhibition, curated by VACI Artistic Director Don Kimes, is a reflection of their rediscovery in the world of contemporary art.