(Malvern, Ohio, 1908 - 1999, Youngstown, Ohio)
Born and raised in Malvern, Ohio, Singer worked as a sign painter for local businesses. With his savings he was able to enroll at the Columbus Museum of Art School in 1931, and then in 1933 as a scholarship student at the Art Students League in New York, where he was taught by several important “American Scene” painters including Kenneth Hayes Miller, Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry. During his years in New York City, Singer developed a friendship with artist John Sloan, one of “The Eight” of the Ashcan School, a group of artists who painted urban subject matter, primarily of New York’s working class neighborhoods.
Singer worked primarily in oil and watercolor; his early work illustrated scenes of small-town life in Ohio, but later shifted focus to more urban settings, depicting contemporary scenes of the time. In 1940, Singer became assistant director at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and, except for military service during World War II, remained there until his death in 1999. In his sixty-five years as a working artist, Singer created over 3,000 paintings and is best known for his depictions of the American scene. He showed a great concern for color mixing, figure drawing (especially of women) and light control. With a slightly humorous style, he captured movement and expression, revealing the personalities of his subjects.
Singer’s work is part of the permanent collections of many museums throughout the United States, as well as many private collections. Various works have been in exhibitions at the Chicago Art Institute, The Whitney Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Academy of Design, the Massillon Museum, the Canton Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art. He also won several awards, including the First Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy in New York for his large oil painting, Barn Dance.