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Ralph Rosenborg  (1913 – 1992)

  Ralph Rosenborg, an abstract painter whose career spanned more than five decades, died on Thursday at a nursing home in Portland, Ore. He was 79 years old and until recently had lived in Manhattan.

He died of complications from a stroke, said Gary Snyder, owner of the SoHo gallery that handles Mr. Rosenborg’s work.

Mr. Rosenborg was born in Brooklyn in 1913 and studied painting with Henriette Reiss, a student of the Russian Modernist painter Wassily Kandinsky. He was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group, which was formed in 1937; in the late 1930’s he also exhibited with the Ten, a group of painters that included Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko and Milton Avery.

The loosely painted abstractions Mr. Rosenborg began making around 1940 had much in common with what would later be called Abstract Expressionism, but unlike the leaders of this movement, he favored small canvases throughout most of his career. His paintings, often based on landscape forms, were frequently admired for their lyricism and beauty of surface.

Mr. Rosenborg’s most recent one-man exhibition was held at Snyder Fine Art in SoHo in 1991. His work is at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Phillips Collection and the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington.