A towering old-school intellectual with a BA in philosophy from the University of Chicago and an MFA from SAIC, Franz Schulze (b. 1927) offered critical gravitas to the Roster, choosing the best examples, comparing and contrasting their work, articulating and arguing on behalf of their greater significance.
Part of his sympathy derived from being one of them, as a painter whose massive, menacing canvases touched on themes and art historical references consistent with Golub and his circle, but Schulze was based in Munich from his year of graduation in 1950 until 1957, so he was not a regular presence in the same Chicago exhibitions in the formative years.
Known by many as an architectural historian, he wrote seminal biographies of both Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson.
This text was adapted from John Corbett’s “Introducing: The Roster” in the Monster Roster exhibition catalogue.
Nevertheless, the city is big enough, technologically sophisticated enough, bumptious and unruly enough, to have produced a steady stream of lively, inquisitive, original, hungry, and—particularly—tough minds. This, together with its midwestern fastness, has produced in Chicago a vigorous and unique American urban personality and a hardy, ingrown art that has much of an “in-spite-of” quality about it.
—Franz Schulze, Fantastic Images: Chicago Art Since 1945, published in 1972