Boxer a versatile artist known for his thickly brushed abstract paintings,
died on Monday at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield Mass.
He was 73.
in New York City, Mr. Boxer was natural draftsman but began formal
art training only after leaving the Navy at the end of World War
II, when his brother persuaded him to take classes at the Art Students
League. He was immediately drawn to painting and stayed with it
for nearly five decades. A prolific and tireless worker he was
in the studio seven days a week, preferred the term "practitioner"
to "artist" and routinely rotated his attention among several media,
including painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. Within
painting, he explored a variety of styles. At one point he caught
the eye of the critic Clement Greenberg, and he was sometimes lumped
in with the "colorfield" painters whom Greenberg championed, notably
Jules Olitski. But Mr. Boxer himself was adamant in rejecting this
stylistic label. Over the years, he remained loyal to the materially
dense abstract mode on which his reputation rested.
Boxer had his first solo exhibition of paintings in New York in
1953. He showed regularly with Tibor de Nagy through 1975, and
in that year began an association with Andre Emmerich Gallery that
lasted until 1993. At the time of his death he was represented
by Salander/O'Reilly Galleries, where a selection of his sculpture
was on view last summer.
1992, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.
organized a career retrospective of Mr. Boxer's work in all media.
Traveling retrospectives of his drawings, which are largely figurative,
were organized in 1978, and 1991. A one-person show of his paintings
appeared at the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, Ohio, last
year. His work is in the permanent collections of many museums,
including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American
Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Hirshhorn
Museum in Washington.