Duval Eliot “Still life”, Oil on canvas, wood frame c. 1945
DUVAL ELIOT (1909-1990) USA
Still life c. 1945
Oil on canvas, wood frame
Signed: Duval Eliot (lower right)
Painting H: 30” x W: 24”
Frame H: 38” x W: 32”
Duval Eliot, nee’ Ruby Duval Bearden, was born in Arkansas, and at a young age moved with her family to California. After going to Hollywood High School, she attended The Los Angeles Trade Technical College (then known as Frank Wiggins Trade School), studying Commercial Art and Design. While there, she began her art career as a men’s fashion illustrator. Then, because of her immense interest in art, immediately enrolled in Art Center School in Los Angeles, being one of their first students. She studied landscape painting (watercolor and oil), portrait, life drawing and illustration with Barse Miller and with Joseph Henniger, life drawing. At Art Center she continued studying all facets of commercial art and simultaneously worked at the Columbia Advertising Agency designing newspaper layouts and fashion illustrations for the major Los Angeles department stores such as I. Magnin, The Broadway, I. Miller, Wetherby Kayser, and Sak’s in Beverly Hills.
Throughout the 1940’s, Duval continued to create watercolor landscapes of Southern California and the West, while illustrating for J.J. Hagarty. Commercially, her prime focus was free-lance illustration, which could be created with a young child in tow, finding interesting work at the “Western Family Magazine,” for whom she did illustrations for over ten years. She also illustrated children’s storybooks and textbooks for MacMillian and L.W. Stinger publishing houses, meanwhile creating Fashion Advertisements and billboards in full color for Phelps & Terkel for several years and billboards for Silverwoods Department Store. For this work, Duval received the Western Art Directors Award in 1946.
During the post World War II years, Duval honed her fine art techniques. She studied with such notable artists as: Barse Miller, Hardy Gramatky and Ejnar Hansen (watercolor) and also with Hansen, (landscape & portrait painting in oil). In 1948, in The Fourth Annual Los Angeles Exhibition at The Greek Theater in Griffith Park, she won 1st Prize for her watercolor entitled “End of the Trail” among her peers of 326 entrants for painting, including Francis De Erdely, Lorser Feitelson, Conrad Buff, James Couper Wright, Frode N. Dann, Joshua Meador, Dan Lutz, and Chas. Payzant. She also studied painting with Conrad Buff, J.C.Wright, Design and Abstract Painting with Leonard Edmonson, and later, painting in acrylic with 2 years of intensive color with Guy MacCoy and silk-screen Serigraphy with Mario De Perentes. Duval also became close friends with Milford Zornes.
Duval became active in “The Southern California Designer Craftsmen” (S.C.D.C.) She won many awards and exhibited extensively throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s at Barnsdall Municipal Art Gallery, Pasadena Art Museum (paintings and enamels}, Gallery 333 on La Cienega. In the 1940s, she turned towards more formal subject matter including landscape and still life and honed her fine art techniques in watercolor, oil, acrylic, and printmaking.
She participated in several group exhibitions in the Los Angeles area in the late 50s and early 60s. Her work was featured in solo exhibitions at the Jack Carr Gallery in Pasadena in 1976 and the Brand Library Gallery in Glendale in 1988.
Duval was also an active member and on the boards of “The Pasadena Society of Artists”, ”The Los Angeles Art Association”, “Women Painters of the West”, as well as S.C.D.C., participating in numerous group (Design 6, 7, 8, and 9 at the Pasadena Art Museum) and one man shows in the vicinities of Pasadena, Glendale, Santa Barbara and Claremont. She was represented in Paris by two silk screen serigraphs at The Exposicion Internacionale des Federacion Femenine at The Museum des Arts Decoratifs in 1971.
Duval Eliot was also represented in The Los Angeles County Art Museum’s show “MADE IN CALIF” in 2001 with “Chavez Ravine” and “3rd St. Traffic”.
Duval Eliot “Still life”, Oil on canvas, wood frame c. 1945
ROGER GEORGES ANDRÈ DUVAL (1901-?) Meudon (Seine-et-Oise), France
La Chambré 1924
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated: ROGER DUVAL XXIV(lower left)
Exhbited: Paris, Salon des Indépendants, 1926, no. 1122
For more information see: Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Vol. 4, E. Bénézit (Paris: Librairie Gründ, 1976).
Painting: H: 23 2/3” x W: 36 1/5”
Framed: H: 35” x 47 5/8”
Roger Duval painted in a modernist figurative style and beginning in 1920 regularly exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. In 1925 he was awarded a prize by Paul Poiret for a painting entitled Conversation and again in 1926 for another painting entitled Bal Musette. Also in 1926, La Chambrée (1924) was exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Indépendants. By 1928 Duval’s technique had evolved into a moderninst/cubist style and a group of his paintings were featured in an Exposition of Painting and Sculpture in Boston, MA.
It is interesting to note Duval’s shared vision with Picasso in their depiction of peasant figures in repose. Their full-bodied, voluptuous and sensual forms illustrate both artists’ sculptural approach to painting in the early 1920s. However by the mid-1920s Duval and Picasso’s painting styles evolved from these softer, rounded shapes into more angular, abstracted forms.
ISOBEL STEELE MACKINNON (1896 – 1972) USA
Weimar Portrait c.1927
Gouache, tempera and oil on paper, lemon gold frame.
Exhibited: Weimar Portraits, Riviera Landscapes: A Chicagoan in Hofmann’s Studio, 1925–1929, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, IL, March 28 – May 3, 2008
Illustrated: Weimar Portraits, Riviera Landscapes: A Chicagoan in Hofmann’s Studio, 1925–1929, exhibition catalog, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, IL, March 28 – May 3, 2008
Painting: H: 16 1/2″ x W: 13″
Frame: H: 20 1/2″ x W: 17 1/4″
***This colorful and mesmerizing painting rather closely foreshadows the famous portraiture of the renowned American artist Alice Neel (1900-1984). Isobel Steele MacKinnon’s adventures as an American artist living and working in Europe echo those of many other expatriates of the epoch. MacKinnon and her husband Edgar Rupprecht were, by the time they left Chicago in 1925, both established figures in Chicago’s art world, and especially in Saugatuck, Michigan, where they taught at Ox-Bow Summer School. What the couple encountered in the studio of German artist Hans Hofmann would rock the impressionist foundations of their artwork and transform them into committed modernists. Hofmann’s Munich-based school was a magnet for foreign students after World War I, ever after Hofmann left Germany in the early Thirties. Indeed, over the period of four years (1925 to 1929) during which Steele and Rupprecht worked alongside Hofmann, their fellow students included renowned abstract artist Vaclav Vytlacil and painter Worth Ryder, the artist who would invite Hofmann to teach in the US for the first time in 1930. A small, elegant, realistic profile drawing Rupprecht made of MacKinnon in 1925 makes fascinating contrast with the work she produced while in Europe. In Chicago, her approach had been as conventional as his, but under Hofmann she took to the new ideas with startling ease, absorbing his “push and pull” spatial concept and his deep investigations of the compositional consequences of hot and cold colors. The portraits of German and other expat sitters made at the time have the analytic angularity associated with Hofmann, drawn and painted with a palpable power and sureness. Some resemble expressionists like Oskar Kokoschka or Ludwig Meidner. For instance, the small portrait of a rat-like man with a whiskery mustache or the jutting, harsh jaw of a stern woman with a fur collar, and a rosy-cheeked girl in red (this painting), straight from a German cabaret. More radical than her portraits, MacKinnon’s slashing charcoal gesture drawings of figures are sometimes exceptionally abstract, hauntingly presaging the abstract expressionist women of Willem de Kooning. These works represent an artist in the throes of letting herself loose, shaking off the constrictions of academicism, experimenting with vital energy and displaying an unwavering hand. During their European summers, MacKinnon and Rupprecht traveled with Hofmann. MacKinnon had quickly risen to become his premier student. On Capri and St. Tropez, she painted bright, abstracted landscapes, often based on carefully plotted line drawings. The warm environs often drew out her old impressionist tendencies, but in the most advanced of these works she blocked colors into shapes and patterns that suggest Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery or, in some cases, Jan Matulka. In one drawing, probably from Paris, she has sculpted the trees into architectural forms. After their sojourn, which extended from their studies with Hofmann to several years as active artists in Paris, MacKinnon and Rupprecht returned to Chicago. They were rejuvenated, heads full of new ideas, portfolios brimming with the work they’d done. When WWII was over, Steele began a long and fruitful teaching career at the School of the Art Institute. From this post she introduced many young artists, from Jack Beal to Tom Palazzolo, to Hofmann’s concepts at the same time he was teaching the future abstract expressionists of America from his schools in New York and Provincetown. In recognition of her unwavering interest in issue of space in pictoral composition, MacKinnon’s closest students were known as the “space cadets.” A larger-than-life character, she died in Chicago in 1972 after a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s.