Frederic Matys Thursz (b. 1930, Casablanca, Morocco; d. 1992, Cologne, Germany) emigrated to the United States in 1941, settling in Queens, after tensions in Morocco were beginning to escalate during World War II. He went on to study art in Queens College, and was later drafted into military service during the Korean War. Because of his height—6’8”—his service was in the art department, designing posters in support of the war effort. His service allowed him to pursue a masters in painting from Columbia University.
Thursz settled in Lexington, and into a teaching position at the University of Kentucky. During a break in 1957, he paid visit to his brother and parents in Washington, DC, and entered the Jefferson Place Gallery with a load of paintings under his arm. The director, Alice Denney, was interested in his work, and offered him a solo exhibition in the fall of 1959. As a kind of trade, Thursz offered an exhibition of Jefferson Place artists at the University of Kentucky, in the fall of 1958.
Thursz would exhibit with the gallery through 1962, receiving mostly favorable reviews of his work from local critics.
After Kentucky he returned to New York, later accepting a position at the New York Studio School. At the time of his death, his work was in exhibitions at Galerie Lelong in New York, and Documenta IX in Kassel, Germany.
1959—Nov. 24—Dec. 12
1962—Jan. 30—Feb. 17
1959—Member’s Show, April 21—May 2
1959—Christmas Show, Dec. 15—Jan. 2, 1960
1960—End of Year Review, May 17—June 11
1960—Art from America’s Cities, Sept 20—Oct. 15
1960—Christmas Show, Dec. 13—Jan 7, 1961
1961—Winter ’61, Twentieth Century Gallery, Williamsburg, VA, Jan 9—Feb. 17
1961—Review and Preview, May 22—June 4
1961—The Year Ahead, Oct. 3—Nov. 4
1962—Small Paintings and Sculpture, Jan. 7–27