Gretchen Corazzo

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Artist Details

  • Gretchen
  • Schoeninger
  • "Gret"
  • Corazzo
  • Alexander Corazzo (1908-1971); born in Lyon, France and originally studied music from 1918 to 1924. After arriving in the United States in 1927, he studied art at the St. Paul School of Art in Minnesota. Beginning around 1934, his work became abstract and non-objective and remained so throughout his career. They married in 1939. Always interested in the arts, he initially pursued a career in music, studying at the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Paris before immigrating to the United States in 1927. Once he began painting, his career quickly took off. He was a member of two of the most influential abstract artists’ groups of the time, the American Abstract Artist Group and the exclusive European painters’ group Abstraction-Creation. He interacted with many members of the artistic avant-garde, marrying fellow artist Gretchen Schoeninger and becoming close friends with composer John Cage. In the late 1930s, Corazzo began to develop an interest in design and attended the “New Bauhaus” school in Chicago. He eventually went on to get his degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied under Mies Van Der Rohe. He later went on to work for Van Der Rohe as an architect. Eventually, Corazzo stopped painting entirely, focusing exclusively on architecture.
  • Nina Corazzo Jelski Michele Corazzo (Chicago, Illinois July 13, 1951-?); artist, educator
  • December 18, 1923
  • Ravinia, Illinois
  • January 11, 2016
  • Chicago, Illinois

    1925-?: Carmel, California

    following WWII-2016: Chesterton, Indiana
  • Ceramicist, Collage, Illustrator, Painter-Oil, Photographer, Printmaker, Sculptor, Weaver
  • Francis Parker School, Chicago, Illinois
    1922-1923: Heidehoff Schule (boarding school), near Stuttgart, Germany (whilst her father negotiated the bringing of the advanced rotogravure printing process from Germany to the States)
    Chouinard School of Art, Los Angeles, California
    1937-1938: New Bauhaus, Chicago, Illinois; student of Alexander Archipenko and of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
  • 1942: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,    

    1943: 31 Women, Art of This Century, New York, New York

    March 20-April 12, 1943: Form and Formula, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

    October 19-November 1, 2013 : Artists Gretchen Corazzo: 100th Birthday Celebration, Box Factory Center for the Arts, St. Joseph, Michigan

    December 9, 2016-January 29, 2017: Cubism Collage Cybergrams Concrete: 4 Artists from Moholy-Nagy's School, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois
  • correspondence in Edward Flanders Ricketts Papers, 1936-1979, Online Archive of California, California Digital Library
  • created posters for the Red Cross
  • article from December 2013
  • parents:  Joseph and Hester Hall Schoeninger, an entrepreneur specializing in printing processes and a schoolteacher

    At their home on Cermak and in Hyde Park their lives were filled with artists, architects, musicians and writers including Alexander Calder, Peggy Guggenheim, and Mies Van Der Rohe. After her husband returned from the war and graduated from IIT, the couple indulged Gretchen’s love of nature and moved to rural Jackson Township.

    She continued as an artist, making cast concrete sculptures, delicate seed paintings, witty collages, beautiful prints under Bill DeHoff at Valparaiso University, and weavings from the many colored wools of her sheep. She kept many animals and tended a large garden which inspired the seed paintings. She was notorious for her home made wines. Summers were filled with visiting children of friends and relatives. She is still an inspiration to them. She also tutored children at the Michigan City neighborhood centers. Gretchen was on good relations with the local farmers whom she admired greatly. She was part of a Jackson township women’s political group and was a 4-H leader for years.

    John Cage wrote poems about the Corazzos.