Athos Zacharias “Reinforce” Acrylic on canvas 1972
ATHOS ZACHARIAS (b. 1927) New York, NY
“Reinforce” (Rolex Watch Band Abstraction) 1972
Acrylic on Canvas in an Optic Minimalist Style of a Rolex Watch Band
Signed on the back of the canvas: Athos Zacharias, Reinforce, 1972, 40”x48”
H: 40” x W: 48”
Synthesizing images from pop, culture, architecture, and nature, painter Athos Zacharias creates dynamic works notable for their spontaneity and characterized by ART NEWS as “blindingly original.” Now the one-time assistant to Willem de Kooning has produced a totally new group of paintings that unite major ideas of this “between generational” painter.
His work can be found in important collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.: the Museum of Art, Providence, R.I.; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Mass.; the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Kalamazoo, Mi.; the Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, Ohio; E.F. Hutton & Co., New York; and the Westinghouse Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Zacharias has exhibited in leading galleries in major American cities including New York and the Hamptons, as well as internationally, notably in Amsterdam and Japan.
Arriving in New York in 1956, Zacharias immediately became involved with the downtown art scene. “I encountered some of the artists who would impact my artistic life. During the sixties in New York, I assisted other artists including Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Mary Abbot, Jack Tworkov, Alphonso Ossorio and Lee Krasner, and notably, de Kooning. Another friend and major influence was the abstract painter Franz Kline.”
Recalling his initial encounter with de Kooning, Zacharias says: “I met Milton Resnick, who invited me to the “Club” where I attended many panels on Friday nights, and participated on one panel entitled “Younger Artists”. Shortly thereafter, I met de Kooning and a friendship blossomed. I was fortunate to be his first assistant when his studio was on Tenth Street. He so strongly believed in my work that he sponsored me for the Longview Foundation Award in 1962. I began to exhibit at the local Guild Hall, where in 1961, and again in 1979, I won the “Best in Show” Award. My friendship with de Kooning continued until his death.
“My great good fortune and a major part of my artistic development was not only being de Kooning’s assistant, but also being part of the Tenth Street Cooperative Gallery Movement. In 1959, I joined the Tenth Street’s “March” Gallery and showed with Mark di Suvero. I continued showing downtown at the Great Jones Gallery, and in 1961, I had my first one-person show at the Gallery Mayer, an uptown gallery that represented artists including John Graham and Man Ray.”
Zacharias was born in Marlborough, Mass. In 1927, and was raised in Fall River, Mass. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design on the GI Bill, graduating in 1952. He then did a year of post-graduate study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, receiving an MFA in 1953.
He has taught classes in leading institutions including Brown University, SUNY New Paltz, and the Parsons School of Design, and for twenty-six years taught at Wagner College on Staten Island.
He was married to Mary Filateros, and is the father of two, Rena and Denis.
Athos Zacharias “Reinforce” Acrylic on canvas 1972
S O G A T A New York, NY
“Harlem: Cabaret” 1931
Watercolor and pencil on paper
Signed: SOGATA, HARLEM · 31(painted, lower right corner of image); HARLEM: CABARET. (in pencil beneath image on left)
For contextual history and similar art see: Rhapsodies in black : art of the Harlem Renaissance,(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997); Harlem Renaissance Artists. Jordan, Denise (Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2003).
Image H: 11″ x W: 7 3/4″
Frame H: 19 1/4” x W: 16”
ROBERT BREER (1926-2011) USA
Oil on canvas, white-gold leaf and lacquer frame
Marks: Untitled, 1950, Robert Breer, 26×32, No. 29 in a circle (paper label)
Provenance: Robert Breer, Private Collection, Chicago
Canvas: H: 25 3/4” x W: 32”
Framed: H: 32 1/4” x W: 39″
“Breer acknowledges his respect for this purist, “cubist” cinema, which uses geometric shapes moving in time and space”
Robert Breer’s career as an artist and animator spans 50 years and his creative explorations have made him an international figure. He began his artistic pursuits as a painter while living in Paris from 1949-59. Using an old Bolex 16mm camera, his first films, such as “Form Phases”, were simple stop-motion studies based on his abstract paintings.
Breer has always been fascinated by the mechanics of film. Perhaps it was his father’s fascination with 3-D work that inspired Breer to tinker with early mechanical cinematic devices. His father was an engineer and designer of the legendary Chrysler Airflow automobile in 1934 and built a 3-D camera to film all the family vacations. After studying engineering at Stanford, Breer changed his focus toward handcrafted arts and began experimenting with flip books. These animations, done on ordinary 4″ by 6″ file cards have become the standard for all of Breer’s work in fim.
Like many of his generation, Breer did early work influenced by the various European modern art movements of the early 20th century, ranging from the abstract forms of the Russian Constructivists and the structuralist formulas of the Bauhaus, to the nonsensical universe of the Dadaists. As a result of his association with the Denise René Gallery, which specialized in geometric art, he saw the abstract films of such pioneers as Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling, Walter Ruttmann and Fernand Léger. Breer acknowledges his respect for this purist, “cubist” cinema, which uses geometric shapes moving in time and space.
In 1955, he helped organize and exhibited in a show in Paris entitled “Le Mouvement” (The Movement), which paved the way for new cinema aesthetics. During this period, Breer also met the poet Allen Ginsberg and introduced him to his film “Recreation” (1956), which made use of frame-by-frame experiments in a non-narrative structure. Although Breer resisted being labeled a beatnik, the film does capture some aspects of beat poetry and music.
When Breer returned to the United States in the late 1950s, the American avant-garde was thriving and films by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Peter Kubelka and Maria Menken were creating a new visionary movement. Breer found kindred spirits within the New York experimental scene. As Pop Art emerged as a phenomenon in the 1960s, Breer befriended Claes Oldenburg and others. He worked on the TV show, “David Brinkley’s Journal”, filming pieces on art shows in Europe; at the same time, he made his debut documentary on the sculptor Jean Tinguely in 1961.