Joseph J. Stefanelli

Joseph Stefanelli (American 1921-2017)

Joseph J. Stefanelli, also know as Joe Stefanelli, belonged to the New York School Abstract Expressionist artists whose influence and artistic innovation by the 1950s had been recognized around the world. New York School Abstract Expressionism, represented by Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Franz Kline and others became a leading art movement of the post-World War II era. According to John Russell art critic of the New York Times. He has for a long time had the gift of color that sings out in tune.

Joe Stefanelli grew up in a large working-class Italian-American family in South Philadelphia.

Studied painting

1938-1940: Philadelphia Museum School

1940-1941: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

1948-1949: Hofmann School of Fine Art

1949-1950: New School for Social Research

1950-1951: Art Students League of New York

Military Service in World War II

Joe Stefanelli entered the Army during World War II. Eventually he was working as an illustrator, from 1942 to 1946 provided field drawings that were published in Artists for Yank Magazine. He traveled all over the South Pacific as a combat artist. Today these works are housed in the permanent collection of the World War II Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

Participation in the Downtown Art Scene

He had his studio in the Lower East Side, on 22nd Street. Stefanelli soon joined the Downtown Group which represented a group of artists who found studios in lower Manhattan. Franz Kline introduced Stefanelli to The Artists Club. located at 39 East 8th Street. Joe Stefanelli was chosen by his fellow artists to show in the Ninth Street Show held on May 21-June 10, 1951. The show was located at 60 East 9th Street on the first floor and the basement of a building which was about to be demolished: The artists celebrated not only the appearance of the dealers, collectors and museum people on the 9th Street, and the consequent exposure of their work but they celebrated the creation and the strength of a living community of significant dimensions.

Joe Stefanelli participated in 1951 and from 1954 to 1957 in the invitational New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals including the Ninth Street Show These Annuals were important because the participants were chosen by the artists themselves.

Teaching Positions

By the 1960s Joe Stefanelli like many of his contemporaries taught art in major Universities.

1960, 1963: University of California, Berkeley, CA

1963-1966: Princeton University, Princeto, NJ

1966: New School for Social Research, NYC 

1966-1974: Columbia University, NYC

1974-1977: Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY 

1979-1980: New York University, NYC

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1950, 1954: Artists Gallery, NYC

1952: The New Gallery, NYC

1953: Hendler Gallery, NYC

1956: Ganymede Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio and NY

1957, 1958, 1960: Poindexter Gallery, NYC

1962: Hacker Gallery, NYC

1963: Thibault Gallery, NYC

1964, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

1965: University of Arkasnas, AR

1971: Westbeth Gallery, NYC

1972, 1982: New School for Social Research, NYC

1973-1974: The New Bertha Schaefer Gallery, NYC

1974: Terry Dintenfass Gallery, NYC

1977: Andre Zarre Gallery, NYC

1978: Temple University, Roome Italy

1980: Landmark Gallery, Southampton, Long Island, NY

1981: Benson Gallery. Meridian, MS

1986: Ingber Art Gallery, Ltd., NY

1988-1989: Armstrong Gallery, NY

1989: R.H.Love Gallery, Chicago, IL; Randal Gallery, St Louis, Missouri

1992, 1994: Olaf Clasen Gallery, Cologne, Germany

1999: Galerie Schröder und Dörr, Germany

2000-2008: Gallerie Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt, Germany

2004: CherryStoneGallery, Wellfleet, MA

2006 :Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany

2008: Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT

In 1988: Joe Stefanelli received a retrospective exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Selected Group Exhibitions

1950: "New Talent Show" Kootz Gallery, NYC

1951: 9th Street Show, NYC

1952-1956: Tanager Gallery, NYC

1954-1957: "New York Painting and Sculpture Annual," Stable Gallery, NYC

1953, 1955: Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

1960: “60 Americans: 1960” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN

1963-1964: "Hans Hofmann and His Students," circ., Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan NY

1991: “Paintings of the 60s,” M-13 Gallery, NYC

1994: "Reclaiming Artists of the New York School. Toward a More Inclusive View of the 1950s", Baruch College, New York City; "New York-Provincetown: A 50s Connection", Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, Mass.

2000: Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY


Joe Stefanelli has received number of awards:

1971: New York State Council of Art, NY

2000: Pollock-Krasner Foundation, NY for his life work

2005: Benjamin Altman Prize, National Academy for painting

Works in Museums and Public Collections

 National Academy of Design

 Whitney Museum of American Art, NY 

 Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT



Tucson Series #3×

Mixed Media
30 x 22 inch
76.2 x 55.9 cm
Tucson Series #2×

Mixed Media
30 x 22 inch
76.2 x 55.9 cm
Tucson Series #1×

Mixed Media
30 x 22 inch
76.2 x 55.9 cm
Code Yellow×

28 x 24 inch
71.1 x 61 cm
Scrambled N×

49 x 73.5 inch
124.5 x 186.7 cm
The Black Voyage×

51.75 x 61.5 inch
131.4 x 156.2 cm
Composition in Green and Blue×

17.5 x 19.5 inch
44.5 x 49.5 cm
The Visit×

32 x 44 inch
81.3 x 111.8 cm