Irwin Rubin (1930–2006) was born in Brooklyn, NY and received a certificate from The Cooper Union’s School of Art in 1952. He went on to study with Josef Albers at the Yale University School of Art where he received a BFA in 1953 and an MFA in 1956.
Rubin taught color theory, drawing, and two-dimensional design for nearly half a century. He held posts at the School of Architecture, University of Texas, Austin, TX (1955); the Department of Art, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (1956-1958); and Pratt Institute, New York, NY (1964-1967). From 1967 to 1974 Rubin taught freehand drawing to architecture students at Cooper Union. He also taught foundation color and drawing at The Cooper Union School of Art from 1971 to 2001. Work by his students was featured in Education of an Architect: A Point of View, a 1971 MoMA exhibition and catalog showcasing projects by Cooper Union architecture students from 1964-1971; and in Cynthia Dantzic’s Design Dimensions: An Introduction to the Visual Surface.
Rubin made collage and painted wood constructions which he exhibited widely in the 1960s. His work was included in shows at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery, Stabel Gallery, and the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York, NY, and the Iris Clert Gallery, Paris, France. His work was also shown in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; and the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD.
Rubin’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, the RISD Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Sheldon Museum in Lincoln, NE. An online archive of Rubin’s work is currently in development.