Born in California in 1926, George Ortman served in World War II before moving to New York to undertake artistic studies at the College of Arts and Crafts and the Hofmann School of Fine Arts. Painting is Ortman’s primary medium, and he headed the painting department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan from 1970 until 1992.

Ortman has, however, explored both sculpture and print media and worked at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1966 before working at Gemini Ltd to create a poster for his self–titled exhibition at the David Stuart Galleries, also in 1966.
Emilie Owens

Further reading


Born in Oakland, California, United States of America

Studies at College of Arts and Crafts and Atelier 17, New York as part of GI Bill program; completes other studies at Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, New York; Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley

Studies at Acadèmie Andre Lhote, Paris
Co-chairman, Department of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts, New York
Instructor, New York University, New York

Included in exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh and again in 1964 and 1970

Included in exhibition, Toward a new abstraction, Jewish Museum, New York

Included in exhibitions: Tokyo Biennial, Japan; 100 Years of American Art, Whitney Museum for American Art, New York and Two Decades of Geometric Abstraction, Whitney Museum for American Art, New York
Works at Fairleigh Dickinson College, New Jersey

Receives John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship

Completes Oaxaca suite at Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Los Angeles; completes edition of Search, Gemini Ltd., Los Angeles
Wins prize for Religion in Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama

Solo exhibitions: Howard Wise Gallery, New York; The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago, Illinois.
Wins first prize in exhibition, Second Annual, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton

Senior fellow, Princeton University, New Jersey

Head of Painting Department, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan

Solo exhibition, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana

Awarded Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award; included in exhibition, Galerie Huit: American artists in Paris 1950-52, at Studio 18, New York

Solo exhibition, George Ortman: early constructions new sculpture, at Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York

Solo exhibition, George Ortman: constructions 1949–2011, at Algus Greenspon, New York

Solo exhibition, 39 Great Jones storefront, East Village, New York; included in exhibition, 39 Great Jones, at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland

George Ortman currently lives and works in New York City and Castine, Maine

Revised Julia Greenstreet, 2013

This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017