The American painter Jon Schueler (1916–92) was often grouped with the second generation of Abstract Expressionists, although as “Jon Schueler: The Castelli Years,” a survey of his paintings from the mid-1950s makes clear, his body of work is much broader in its affiliations. If anything, his painting reaches back to Monet and the French Impressionists, while leaning toward the mystical realism of J. M. W. Turner, who was a lasting influence on Schueler during his last prolific decades, when he lived part-time in Scotland and often painted visions of the sea and sky in eerie contention.

I first became acquainted with Schueler, the man and artist, in the early 1970s, when I saw a one-man show in Edinburgh. A tightly coiled, thin man with a goatee and intense eyes, he seemed willing and able to discuss every aspect of his painting, its influences, and the directions it was going. I learned from him that he had apprenticed...


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