In the early 1960s Bill Moll, then an analytical chemist, enrolled in an evening painting class at Wright College and struck up a friendship with the teacher, Seymour Rosofsky. Rosofsky had grown up on Chicago's west side, served in the military during World War II, studied at the School of the Art Institute, and was one of a group of local artists that included June Leaf and Leon Golub-the generation preceding the Chicago Imagists. Moll was taken with his dynamic, thickly painted oils, populated by distorted, symbolic figures. "They weren't easy to like," Moll says. "The first time you saw them, they almost repelled you. But you couldn't casually walk by: whether you liked them or disliked them, you looked." Moll never took another formal class with Rosofsky, but over the next 20 years--as Moll went on to earn an MFA at the School of the Art Institute and become a figurative oil painter and teacher himself--Rosofsky remained a close friend and mentor. By the late 70s, when Rosofsky was living alone on the city's north side, Moll was coming by every Friday to share breakfast or lunch and spend the day painting with him. He also bought a number of his pieces, traded his own work for others, and received some as gifts, amassing a sizable collection of his friend's work. Rosofsky died of a heart problem in 1981 (he was 56); Moll, who now teaches at Oakton Community College, has broken out his cache of 35 Rosofsky paintings and prints for Seymour Rosofsky: Fresh Glance, an exhibit that opens this week and continues through June 24 at Oakton's William A. Koehnline Gallery, 1600 E. Golf in Des Plaines. Regular gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10 to 5 and Wednesday and Thursday from 10 to 6. It's free; call 847-635-2633.

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