Syd Solomon, 86; Abstract Artist Was One of First to Use Acrylics

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Syd Solomon, 86, whose boldly colored abstract paintings hang in New York’s Guggenheim and Whitney museums and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., among other institutions, died of natural causes Wednesday in Sarasota, Fla.

Solomon, one of the first to use acrylic paints, helped turn Sarasota into a nationally known artists’ colony in the 1950s and connected it to the New York art world. In 1962, his painting “Silent World” became the first purchase from a living artist by the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

The Ringling School of Art and Design’s Selby Gallery presented two retrospectives of Solomon’s work, most recently “Syd Solomon Revisited” in 2001.

A native of Uniontown, Pa., Solomon studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He served in the Army during World War II, earning a Bronze Star at the Battle of the Bulge.


Solomon had lived in Sarasota since 1946, and taught art at the city’s New College and served as director of its Fine Arts Institute since 1964.