Frederic Tuten dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen to become an artist and took life drawing Saturday classes at the Art Students League.
There are three chapters in his recent memoir “My Young Life” devoted to his humbling yet exciting experience at The Art Students League. He never lost his dream of being an artist and the dream materialized this April when he had a solo show of his drawings at the Planthouse gallery in the flower district.
He and the artist Ross Bleckner will be in conversation at The Art Students League describing the events in his memoir and his involvement in the art world as both a critic and essayist for The New York Times, Arts Magazine, Art in America and Art Forum.
It took Frederic sixty-seven years to return to the Art Students League as an artist.
Tuten’s short stories, art and film criticism have appeared in such places as ArtForum, the New York Times, Vogue, Conjunctions, Grantaand Harpers. In addition, he has written essays and fictions for artists’ catalogues including Ross Bleckner, John Baldessari, Eric Fischl, Pierre Huyghe, Jeff Koons, David Salle and Roy Lichtenstein. He has published five novels: The Adventures of Mao on the Long March; Tallien: A Brief Romance; Tintin in the New World; Van Gogh’s Bad Café; The Green Hour; a collection of inter-related short stories, Self Portraits: Fictions, and most recently a memoir, My Young Life (2019).
Ross Bleckner received his Bachelor of Arts degree from NYU and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia California. He is well-known for his large-scale paintings in the art world and his works have been shown in esteemed public collections throughout the world, including MoMA, MoCA, Astrup Fearnley, Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mr. Bleckner is also recognized as the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In addition to Mr. Bleckner’s works, he has taught at many of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Additionally, he is president of Community Research Initiative on AIDS (CRIA), a non-profit community-based AIDS research and treatment education center.