Taking Art To Heart
Born in 1888 to immigrant parents in the Lower East Side ghetto of New York City, Alexander Z. Cruse was heir to his father's idealism and his mother's Bible. The two influences combined to produce a clear-eyed chronicler who painted the people and activities of the streets of New York with honesty, compassion and vigor.
A member of the Ash Can School, the social realism of Kruse's work fell out of favor with the rise of non-representational art. However, the truth and dignity of spirit revealed in his work embrace the full range of the human experience, just as the wit and penetration of his art criticism captures the many facets of the American aesthetic. In the words of Richard H. Love, curator of Kruse's rediscovery exhibit which opened at the Love Galleries in 1994, Kruse "stripped away the superfluous to get at the real, just as he did in his own art." A. Z. Kruse, a fiercely loyal American, is the creator of works that are as American as the blues, and as redolent of his time and place as John Steinbeck's novels.