John Laub

Life Dates

Born and trained in Philadelphia, Laub (1947–2005) enjoyed a successful career, showing with the Fischbach Gallery in New York. A gay man who came of age and lived in New York in the 1980s, his life intersected with the devastation of the AIDS crisis. But Laub’s work is a heroic testament to the power of beauty, as if his antidote to tragedy was to embrace the extraordinary visual pleasures of the natural world.

Laub received his bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1971. After graduation, he attended a summer session at the San Francisco Art Institute to study filmmaking and, in 1974, enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Arts (now the School of Design) to study architecture. Ultimately, however, Laub pursued painting, and began his career exhibiting in Philadelphia galleries such as A. J. Wood Galleries and Gross McCleaf. In 1984, he moved to New York, where he would live for the rest of his life.

Laub became a well-known painter on Fire Island, serving on the board of directors of the Fire Island Pines Art Project (FIPAP), a nonprofit organization that, through performing and fine arts events, encourages the community’s cultural vitality. For several years Laub continued to be involved with FIPAP activities, showing his work in their annual group exhibition, The Art Show, and acting as co-chair for a number of them. He taught summer classes out of his home in Fire Island Pines for a decade.

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