Photo: Albert York in 1989. Credit Roy Davis

" artist’s artist." (

"I think we live in a Paradise. This is a Garden of Eden, really it is." It might be the only paradise we ever know, and it's just so beautiful, with the trees and everything here, and you feel you want to paint it. Put it into a design. That's all I can say."

...a "reclusive painter of deliberate, dreamlike landscapes, still lifes and portraits."

Albert York, a painter of small, mysterious landscapes, shunned the art world yet had a fervent following within it...

In a 1995 New Yorker magazine profile of Mr. York, Calvin Tomkins said he was perhaps “the most highly admired unknown artist in America.” He described a shy man who avoided anyone connected to the art world, who worked slowly and who was perpetually dissatisfied with his work, prone to scraping down his wood panels and starting over.

...Ms. Langdale said Mr. York usually wrapped his paintings in brown paper and mailed them to the gallery. She said that when one arrived, unannounced and “practically still wet,” she often felt that Mr. York “had to get it out of the house in order not to destroy it.”

...But his paintings’ geometric simplicity, flatness of form and workmanlike brushwork exuded a quiet modernity, as did their wholeness of composition and feeling. ...critic and painter Fairfield Porter wrote, “Certainly part of the strong emotional appeal of these paintings” is that York “is not clever, and in no sense superior to the nature of his medium or the nature of the subject, but that he is at one with both.”

....He painted only about 200 to 250 works in his lifetime. Most are in private collections and museums. A rare auction of his work took place after the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who owned 6 of his paintings.
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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