EMIL ARMIN was born in Radautz, Roumania, in April of 1883. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His outstanding teachers were George Bellows, Randall Davey and Herman Sachs. He has painted in Maine, Ohio and New Mexico. He is a member of the Chicago Society of Artists, Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists and 10 Artists (Chicago). Works of his have been exhibited throughout the United States. He has had one-artist exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and other local public places. He has also had one-man shows at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Berkley Art Museum, Berkley, California, and his work has been written about in various Chicago newspapers and periodicals, also in such national magazines as The Arts and the B'nai B'rith Magazine. He is the subject of a full-length biographical and critical study, entitled "Thirty-five Saints and Emil Armin," which was written by J. Z. Jacobson and published by L. M. Stein.
I began studying drawing in 1907, and the first landscape sketch that I painted outdoors was in the woods of Mayfair in the summer of 1908, and I have painted and carved whenever at all possible ever since. In the summer of 1920 I was aroused, as it were, by a feeling that the work I had done till then was lacking in expression peculiar to myself, and I proceeded to try what I thought would be working in the way I did before I had studied in an art school, and it proved to be much more satisfying. A few years later I was again halted in looking over my work by a feeling that there were too many influences felt, and, after brooding and thinking over that for some time, a realization came over me that the qualities which troubled me were expressions of the environment I live in and that they rightfully belong there, for I have been living and working in Chicago since 1905-in the city of Chicago where people walk fast and the "L" trains overhead make rumbling noises, and the wheels of the street cars grind and screech, and the many railroad trains, coming in and leaving, steam and clang and whistle, and aeroplanes whirr, and many things are being done: such things as riveting steel ribs into tall towers and pushing spacious outer drives, as it were, out of the lake, etc. And I found these elements in my paintings: I found the characteristics of the environment I live in expressed in my work, I found the steel ribs of the tall towers in the construction of my compositions, the earth being pushed up out of the lake for an outer drive in the texture of the paint and the whistlings, screeches, electric flashes, whirrings and fast motion mixed with sunlight contained in the light of the painting. Environment speaks; and I have come to know myself as a natural expressionist for I hear, see, and vibrate, without any special effort, with the things that I have tried to describe above, and then when I paint, these qualities come out on the canvas.