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October 15. 2008
Artists Biographies

More than ten years after the death of George Cup in 2008 and nearly thirtyfive years after the tragic death of Steve Elliott in 1986, the works of these artist-couple remains one of the most influential figures in Minimal-Art. George Cup & Steve Elliott´s work inspires artists worldwide and the research of dedicated scholars is still ongoing. The boundless curiosity of the two resulted in an enormous work that spanned a wide variety of media, such as film, animation, photo, sculpture, drawing and architecture.

George Cup is born in 1930 in Heßlingen (today Wolfsburg), Germany,
under the name of Georg Anton Kupsch. In 1936 his family emigrates to New York. From 1950 to 1953 he studies at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, from 1954 to 1955 at the Art Students League in New York. There he meets Steve Elliott and in 1954 moves with him into a shared apartment. From 1953 to 1956 the first packed objects and paintings were created.

George Cup & Steve Elliott
New York, 1976
Silver gelatin, vintage print
26,7 x 20 cm
George Cup Research Center for the Minimal Art

Steve Elliott 1933 - 1986
Photo by George Cup, 1975
Silver gelatin, vintage print
George Cup Research Center for the Minimal Art

George Cup 1930 - 2008
Photo by George Cup, 1975
Silver gelatin, vintage print
George Cup Research Center for the Minimal Art
In 1957 the Period Gallery in New York presents the first individual exhibition of George Cup & Steve Elliott as an artist-couple. In 1959 the first experimental films are realized. In 1960 George Cup ends his involvement with architecture. From 1961 to 1963 the first sculptures and light-objects are created. From 1963 Cup and Elliott develop Minimalist sculptures, artists ’books, and their first animated films. From 1975 to 1977 Cup works in a studio in East Hampton, New York. There are extended stays in Paris from 1978 to 1985. In 1986 Steve Elliott separate from George Cup. In the same year Elliott dies, and Cup is convicted and imprisoned for the alleged murder of Steve Elliott. His works are removed from art collections, and his sculptures disappear from public spaces. In 2007, new lawsuits proved that George Cup was innocent in the murder of Steve Elliott, and he was released from New York prison in the summer of 2007. Shortly afterwards, Preston C. Weery, President of the George Cup Research Center, contacted the artist and organized the first exhibitions since Cup and Elliott's birthplace in Germany since his imprisonment in 1986. Tragically, George Cup should no longer experience these first attempts to bring the work of the two minimal art artists back into the light of the public. He died of heart failure in New York in July 2008, two months before the opening of the first retrospective in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Steve Elliott was born in 1933 in Nordhorn, Germany, under the name Stefan Berliott. In 1936 the family moved to the United States and settled in New Jersey. From 1954 to 1958 he studied at the Art Students League in New York and earned a Master of Arts. In 1954 he got to know the George Cup. From 1955 the two worked as an artist couple. In 1959, he was commissioned to create a mural for the social security building in Washington, DC. The work no longer exists. From 1967 to 1972 he taught at Hunter College in New York, from 1972 to 1974 at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. From 1974 to 1976 he created the 26-part animation cycle The connection between form and sound. In the spring of 1986, he separated from the George Cup. In June 1986, Steve Elliott was found dead in his New York apartment.

Please contact the Research Center for images: service[at]georgecupresearchcenter.com .

The George Cup Research Center
The George Cup & Steve Elliot Research Center
323 West, 39th Street W, NY, New York, 10018

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