Kertess, Klaus 1940–

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Kertess, Klaus 1940–

PERSONAL: Born July 16, 1940, in New York, NY; son of F.A. (in business) and Kate (a homemaker; maiden name, Daasch) Kertess. Education: Yale University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1962, M.A., 1964; attended Universities of Cologne and Bonn, 1963–64. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, yoga.

ADDRESSES: Home—4 E. 8th St., New York, NY 10003.

CAREER: Writer, art critic, and curator. Bykert Gallery, Inc., New York, NY, founder and director, 1966–75; Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY, Robert Lehman curator, 1983–89; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, adjunct curator of drawing, 1989–95, curator of 1995 Biennial, 1993–95; School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, graduate seminar instructor, beginning 1997. Conducts lectures and critiques throughout the United States, including at Yale University and the University of Iowa. Guest exhibition curator, Celebrating Willem de Kooning, Guild Hall, 1994, and Alfonso Ossorio: Congregations, Parrish Art Museum, 1997.


Roses Are Read, photographs by Eve Sonneman, Editions Generations (Paris, France), 1982.

(Author of catalogue and curator) The Painterly Figure, July 24-September 4, 1983, Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), 1983.

Marin in Oil, Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), 1987.

Painting Horizons: Jane Freilicher, Albery York, April Gornik: July 30-September 17, 1989, the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), 1989.

Brice Marden: Paintings and Drawings, Abrams (New York, NY), 1992.

Desire by Numbers (fiction), photographs by Nan Goldin, San Francisco Art Space (San Francisco, CA), 1994.

Jane Wilson: Paintings, 1985–1995, Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), 1996.

Joan Mitchell, Abrams (New York, NY), 1997.

Alfonso Ossorio: Congregations (exhibition catalog), Parish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), 1997.

South Brooklyn Casket Company (short stories), Serpent's Tail (New York, NY), 1997.

Bill Jacobson: 1989–1997, Twin Palms (Santa Fe, NM), 1998.

Joel Shapiro: New Wood and Bronze Sculpture, PaceWildenstein (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Ann Philbin) Willem de Kooning: Drawing Seeing/Seeing Drawing, Arena Editions (Santa Fe, NM), 1998.

Sea Change, Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), 1998.

(Author of commentary) George Everett Shaw, Art of Grace and Passion: Antique American Indian Art, Aspen Art Museum (Aspen, CO), 1999.

Photography Transformed: The Metropolitan Band & Trust Collection (art catalogue), Abrams (New York, NY), 2002.

Peter Hujar: Animals and Nudes (art catalogue), Twin Palms Publishers (Santa Fe, NM), 2002.

Jane Freilicher, introduction by John Ashbery, notes by Thomas Nozkowski, Abrams (New York, NY), 2004.

Fabulism: Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, January 31-April 25, 2004, Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), 2004.

Contributor to books and museum exhibition catalogues, including Barry Le Va, 1966–1988, Carnegie Mellon University Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1988; Terry Winters, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), 1991; John Newman: Sculpture and Works on Paper, Fort Wayne Museum of Art (Fort Wayne, IN), 1993; Mark Rothko: The Realist Years: Selected Works: October 31, 2001–January 05, 2002, by Mark Rothko, PaceWildenstein (New York, NY), 2001; and De Kooning: Paintings, 1960–1980, Hatje Cantz (Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany), 2005. Contributor of short stories to periodicals; contributor of art criticism to periodicals, including Artforum, Art in America, Arts, Parkett, House and Garden, Elle, Elle Decor, Vogue, and Out. Contributing editor, Elle Decor.


SIDELIGHTS: A museum curator and art critic by trade, Klaus Kertess is the author of several books and catalogues concerning art. For example, in his Joan Mitchell Kertess provides a biographical essay of the abstract painter in a biography "patiently recounting her life and career in a non-judgmental fashion," noted a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Artforum International contributor Lydia Davis called Kertess's biography "sensible and gracefully expressed." Writing about the author's opening essay for Photography Transformed: The Metropolitan Bank & Trust Collection, Library Journal critic Michael Dashkin commented that it "offers tantalizing brief descriptions of the concerns and work processes of the artists."

Kertess is also the author of South Brooklyn Casket Company. This collection of short stories feature the "reflections of ennui-stricken, globe-trotting, upper-middle-class gay men," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. He also wrote a short story about lost love that serves as the text for Bill Jacobson: 1989–1997, which features forty-nine of Jacobson's photographs.



Artforum International, summer, 1997, Lydia Davis, review of Joan Mitchell, p. S14.

Entertainment Weekly, January 8, 1993, Margot Mifflin, review of Brice Marden, Paintings and Drawings, p. 51.

Library Journal, March 1, 1999, Eric Bryant, review of Bill Jacobson, 1989–1997, p. 80; April 1, 2002, Michael Dashkin, review of Photography Transformed: The Metropolitan Bank & Trust Collection, p. 102.

New York Times Book Review, December 8, 2002, Andy Grundberg, review of Peter Hujar: Animals and Nudes, p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, March 2, 1992, review of Terry Winters, p. 58; March 17, 1997, review of Joan Mitchell, p. 69; May 19, 1997, review of South Brooklyn Casket Company, p. 67.