Ruth Nasca, Painter

Ruth Nasca, Painter

Ruth Nasca, a painter whose work was exhibited in at least 50 solo shows, died on Oct. 4 at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson. She was 89 and had been ill for five months after having a stroke. She had lived in the same East Hampton house since 1988.

Ms. Nasca started artwork at 13. As a young woman, she took a course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also went to a summer class at Yale taught by Willem de Kooning. In 1951, she received a B.F.A. at the State University at Buffalo. She earned a master's in art education there in 1972.
Although her work was reminiscent of de Kooning's and a bit of Picasso's, "She was unique and not really in a category," said her daughter Sally Morrison.

On the South Fork, Ms. Nasca exhibited at the Clayton-Liberatore Gallery and Home Collette in Bridgehampton, the Merz Gallery in Sag Harbor, and Ashawagh Hall in Springs. She was in many group shows and won top prizes at the Ruth Sherman Gallery in Manhattan, the National League of America Pen Women at the Vanderbilt Museum, and, in 2016, at the Southampton Cultural Center. Her work is in the permanent collection at Guild Hall.

In a written statement, Ms. Nasca said, "People are important to me. Since 1990, I have been creating poster paintings: drawing the nude model directly on movie posters with oil pastels. The process continues . . . using expressive colors, strong shapes, and bold drawing to transform the artwork into a new meaning . . . I found the individuality of the face as important as the human form. . . ."

She was born on May 2, 1929, in Buffalo, one of two children of the former Eva Seeberg and Simon Greenbaum.

Ms. Nasca lived in a number of places throughout her life, including Pittsburgh, Arlington, Va., and Illinois.
She was married to Lester Morrison on Dec. 27, 1952. They had two daughters, Sally Morrison of Rocky Point and Marsha Morrison, who died in 1983. Mr. Morrison died in 1970.

In 1974 she married Anthony Nasca. After he died in 1986, she lived in Quogue for a few years before moving to East Hampton, where she enjoyed being part of the artists community. Although she did some teaching in Buffalo, "she was very focused on art, did art, went to art openings, read books on art . . . " Ms. Morrison said. Ms. Morrison's husband, Steve Subject, helped to take care of Ms. Nasca and she considered him a son, Ms. Morrison said.

She was cremated, and in accordance with her wishes, there was no service, nor will there be a memorial. Ms. Morrison suggested memorial donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York City 10028, or Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton 11937.