Jan de Swart, Handcarved “Peach” Sculpture, c. 1970
JAN DE SWART (1908-1987) Netherlands / USA
Peach sculpture c. 1970
Hand carved and formed jelutong wood in a symbolic / erotic form of a peach
For more information see: Jan de Swart: A Day That Becomes a Lifetime, exhibition catalogue (California: Fine Arts Gallery at the San Fernando Valley State College, February 1972); Jan de Swart, Mike McGee and William G. Otton (Laguna Beach, California: Laguna Art Museum, 1986).
H: 7 ½” x D: 4”
Constantly seeking and inventing new materials Jan de Swart was a true modernist. He was influenced by artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, and later Sam Maloof and Wendell Castle. Although he had been creating small sculptures since his arrival in California from Holland in 1929, he had not been widely recognized until being introduced to John Entenza, publisher of Arts & Architecture magazine in 1947. Soon thereafter, he was able to create larger works and began collaborating with architects such as Whitney Smith and Victor Gruen on special commissions. His work is in the permanent collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, and the Ford Foundation. He was honored with the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Sculpture in 1965.
Jan de Swart, Handcarved “Peach” Sculpture, c. 1970
ERIK SAXON (b. 1941) San Francisco, CA
Acrylic on canvas
Signed: Erik Saxon 74 75 (on back of frame)
Canvas H: 24” x W: 24”
Framed H: 26 1/4” x W: 26 1/4”
***24 layers of paint were applied to the surface and the painting is 24 inches high and wide. Erik Saxon was born in San Francisco in 1941 and now resides in New York City. He received both his Bachelor and Master of Arts from Berkeley (The University of California). Originally from San Francisco but based in NYC since 1968, Saxon was a core member of the Radical Painting Group active in NYC during the 1970s and 1980s. The RPG stressed a return to the core concerns of painting, focusing primarily on the monochrome. The group included Erik Saxon, Phil Sims, Merrill Wagner, Dale Henry, Doug Sanderson, Susanna Tanger, Anders Knutsson, Marcia Hafif, Jerry Zeniuk, Frederic Matys Thursz. In 1973 Saxon began making abstract work based on the grid format, initially using watercolor on paper and then industrial paint on raw canvas. The same year he began exploring the idea of monochromatic canvases – a series of acrylic drawings consisting of white and off-white squares arranged into groups of three to five panels – but tabled the idea a year later to focus his attention on paintings organized around a nine square grid structure. For the past thirty years, Saxon has worked with the monochrome and it’s relationship to its surroundings–the wall, the floor, its location within the exhibition space, and the viewer. In addition to his studio work, Saxon is a writer and has had his essays published in Artforum, Art in America, Appearances and other respectable art magazines. Radical Painting denotes an abstract art tendency in Europe and North America, which was in existence in the 1980s and 1990s and has to be seen in the light of Postmodernism. The term Radical Painting was used in the context of an exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown (MA) in 1984 for the first time. It describes a self-referential art, which addresses topics of its immanent characteristics – especially color, but also image carriers, surface and structure. The Radical Painting artists and their monochrome painting are in the tradition of Post Painterly Abstraction of the 1950s and 1960s and shows notions of Minimal Art. The roots of radical art can also be found in the stylistic ambitions of Constructivism, Suprematism and Art Concret. In terms of style, radical painting is characterized by mostly monochrome works that focus on color effects, shading and material properties, entirely doing without external motifs. Radical Painting enables the observer to sensually experience the picture with its independently perceived color and light values, uniquely achieved by the painting technique, subtle coating methods or change of flows. Among the main artists of Radical Painting are Phil Sims, Marcia Hafif, Günter Umberg and Joseph Marioni; others radical artist are Jerry Zenuik, Andreas Exner, Frederic Matys Thursz, Rudolf De Crignis, Christiane Fuchs, Ingo Meller, Eric Saxon, Peter Tollens, Dieter Villinger, Ulrich Wellmann, Olivier Mosset and Winston Roeth.
Saxon’s works can be found in the following selected Public and Private Collections: artothek, Kolnisches Stadt Museum, Cologne, Germany. Bank of America, San Francisco. Fogg Museum, Havard University , Boston, MA Goteborg Museum of Art, Sweden Lita Hornik, New York IBM, San Jose, CA Wynn Kramarsky, New York Herbert Minkel, New York Mondriaanhuis, Museum voor Constructieve en Concrete Kunst, Amersfoort, Neatherlands. Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia, Vancover,B.C., Canada Museo Cantonale d’Arte of Lugano , Switzerland Museum fur Kommunikation, Frankfurt, Germany Museum of Modern Art, Belgrade MOMA, Museum of Modern Art , New York . Gift of Wynn Kramarsky National Gallery of Art, Washington , D.C. UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles , CA University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, KY Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
JACK SMITH (1950-) Taos, NM
Blackoil, wax, lead salts on copper, ebonized wood frame
For more information on Jack Smith see: “Taos Portraits” by Jack Smith, May 14th – August 15th, 2004, exhibition catalogue (Taos, NM: Harwood Museum of Art, University of New Mexico)
Canvas: H: 18” x W: 13 3/16”
Framed: H: 25 1/4” x W: 20 7/16”
Jack Smith was born in 1950. At age 16, he began his training at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan before moving to Ohio to attend Columbus College of Art and Design. He also studied for a brief time at the Instituto de Allende, at San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico. He now resides in New Mexico. Reflecting a profound knowledge of art history and and an alchemist’s sense of the painting craft, contemporary painter Jack Smith has forged his own place amongst the most powerful of contemporary portraitists working in America. Incorporating blackoil, wax, lead salts, and copper Smith’s small format portraits and paintings are detailed and intimate depictions of creative individuals and charged tableaux. Smith’s singular style of portraits glow with a warm inner light and present honest, straightforward images that speak of personal narratives.Jack Smith recently received a prestigious Past Achievement Award from the Peter and Madeleine Martin Foundation for the Creative Arts, following an important solo exhibition titled, Jack Smith: The Taos Portraits at the Harwood Museum of Art at the University of New Mexico in 2004. The exhibition featured fifty portraits of Taos, New Mexico residents, executed between 2000 and 2003. The series was intended as a visual biography of this unique artistic community at the turn of the century. Smith’s subjects range from the famous to the infamous – including artists, writers, art patrons, Native peoples, and street peoples.