Celebrated for his vibrant scenes depicting the natural beauty of Long Island and Maine, Resnick is considered a significant American landscape painter of the 20th century. He painted what Phyllis Braff in the New York Times calls “luminous…canvases [that] are sensuous celebrations…A powerful natural radiance is always present in [his] large, vigorously brushed paintings, for each area of pigment either holds or reflects a light that has been carefully analyzed and translated into color.”
Resnick himself described the inspiration for his paintings as an “intense experience of a place — its particular light, its particular space — at a unique moment in time. This is the case whether I’m standing along the wind-blown coastline, hiking near a still tidal inlet, or walking by a rippling mountain stream. Painting is my way of sharing what I have seen and experienced. Painting is my story. So, if while viewing my work others see nature in a new and vital way — seeing the natural world as a place in need of protection — then I have succeeded in some small manner.”
The new common room, a space to support faculty, staff and campus gatherings, was renovated during the 2016-17 expansion of Scandling Campus Center.
Born in New York City in 1928, Resnick graduated from HWS in 1949, receiving a B.A. with a concentration in sociology. He later served in the U.S. Coast Guard for two years during the Korean War. After the war, he began again to study art, first at the School of Visual Arts in New York, then in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied painting under the prominent Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka. Resnick later studied under renowned artists Raphael Soyer, Seymour Lipton and Julian Levi.
Since Resnick began painting professionally in 1958, his work has been showcased in dozens of museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Rose Art Museum, and others in New York, Toronto, Boston, and on the HWS campus. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times and more than 20 other publications.
A loyal alumnus, Resnick received the Medal of Excellence in 1999, Hobart College Alumni Association’s highest honor, awarded to an alumnus who, by reason of outstanding accomplishments in his particular business, profession or community service, has brought honor and distinction to his alma mater.
He passed away in 2008 at the age of 80.