Bay Area Abstraction: 1945 - 1965
Jack Jefferson, Frank Lobdell and Charles Strong
November 11 - December 31, 2011
Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or by appointment
Friday, November 11, 2011 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

David Richard Contemporary is pleased to present BAY AREA ABSTRACTION: 1945-1965, an exhibition featuring the work of Jack Jefferson, Frank Lobdell and Charles Strong.

Abstract Expressionism dominated Post-War American art and was explored in parallel on the two coasts—in New York with notable figures such as Pollock, DeKooning, Motherwell, and Newman, and in San Francisco with painters such as Diebenkorn, Francis, Bischoff, Dugmore, Smith, Jefferson and Lobdell. There were striking similarities in the work produced from the two cities in terms of thick gestural brushstrokes laid down in bold colors on large canvases. Yet, differences emerged: the Bay Area abstractionists were less influenced by European tendencies of the time and more by Asian culture, the ethos of the Beat generation, and the expansiveness and new social freedom of California life.

Clyfford Still, a common link between the two coasts, was a forerunner of pure abstraction. By the mid-1940s, Still had emptied his paintings of any representation and the titles he gave them were entirely non-referential, consisting only of dates and series numbers. Still taught at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), where he had a profound influence on many of the students, including Jack Jefferson and Frank Lobdell.

Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of this period at the California School of Fine Arts was the mutual collegial respect between teacher and student, a respect more like that between junior and senior or peer and mentor than between students and professors. These artists shared a personal chemistry and a passion both intellectual and visceral for abstract art, and that common cause held the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism together even more tightly than its New York counterpart.

Jack Jefferson’s quiet and understated demeanor, combined with his bold and purposeful approach to art, defined his career and subsequent interactions with students when he taught at the California School of Fine Arts. Normally dark and moody, his artwork changed with each new studio location, and the titles he gave them reflected various addresses in and around San Francisco. Frank Lobdell was influenced by primitive cultures and symbols; as a result, his early work, while gestural and abstract, frequently incorporated biomorphic shapes and figuration. The unique symbolic “language” that he developed became his way of expressing frustration with man’s inhumanity towards man and the atrocities of war.

Early in his career, while still living in his native Colorado, Charles Strong had the good fortune to meet and interact with Clyfford Still. Strong did not study with Still directly when he came to the CSFA, but under his students Jefferson and Lobdell. He was also influenced by another prominent presence at the school, Hassel Smith. Throughout his oeuvre Strong demonstrates an unwavering commitment to Abstract Expressionism. He developed a distinctive gritty, textured approach that transitioned through the 1960s from dark neutralized colors in blocky abstractions suggesting the rock formations of Colorado’s mountains to fluid, vibrantly colorful compositions more evocative of volcanic eruptions, hot lava, and deep geological journeys to the earth’s inner core.

David Richard Contemporary is also pleased to present a second, related exhibition of Bay Area painters of the postwar era. Featured is artwork by Hassel Smith, Robert McChesney, Edward Dugmore—who also studied with Still and was a contemporary of Jefferson & Lobdell during his time in San Francisco—and several of Smith’s students, Madeleine Dimond, Lilly Fenichel, James Kelly and Deborah Remington. We will also show work by a couple of younger Bay Area Abstractionists, Lynn Faus and Michael Kennedy, who studied at the San Francisco Art Institute with Jack Jefferson.

Thus, the California School of Fine Arts is the common link among all the artists in both of these exhibitions, demonstrating an artistic lineage across three generations that started with Clyfford Still and was perpetuated by Jefferson, Lobdell, Smith, and Strong.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Peter Frank, art historian and art critic with the Huffington Post. The catalogue will also be available on-line.
 

 

Exhibited Work

Untitled Madeleine Dimond
Untitled
Oil and mixed media on canvas
c 1950
36 x 30 inches
 
Aspen Quartet Edward Dugmore
Aspen Quartet
Oil on canvas
1961
69 1/2 x 85 5/8 inches
 
Untitled III Lilly Fenichel
Untitled III
Oil on canvas
1959
42 1/2 x 62 1/2 inches
 
Untitled II Lilly Fenichel
Untitled II
Oil on canvas
1963
47 1/4 x 31 1/2 inches
 
Untitled I Lilly Fenichel
Untitled I
Oil on canvas
1962
48 x 36 inches
 
Ochre Red and Blue Lilly Fenichel
Ochre Red and Blue
Oil on canvas
1950
51 1/2 x 68 inches
 
Untitled Lynn Faus
Untitled
Oil on canvas
1965
62 1/2 x 60 inches
 
Embarcadero _4 Jack Jefferson
Embarcadero #4
Oil on canvas
1962
74 x 60 inches
 
Untitled Jack Jefferson
Untitled (P47)
Oil on canvas
1948
46 x 48 inches
 
Mission Street _3 Jack Jefferson
Mission Street #3
Oil on canvas
1954
64 x 48 inches
 
Chestnut Street _3 Jack Jefferson
Chestnut Street #3
Oil on canvas
1949
26 x 33 inches
 
Chestnut Street Untitled Jack Jefferson
Chestnut Street Untitled
Oil on canvas
1948
38 x 40 inches
 
Mission Street _12 Jack Jefferson
Mission Street #12
Oil on canvas
1957
72 x 58 inches
 
Jackson Street _1A Jack Jefferson
Jackson Street #1A
Oil on canvas
1951
40 x 70 inches
 
Jack Jefferson
Chestnut Street #4
Oil on canvas
1949
36 x 30 inches
 
Chestnut Street _2 Jack Jefferson
Chestnut Street #2
Oil on canvas
1948
32 x 36 inches
 
Front Street Harrington _3 Jack Jefferson
Front Street Harrington #3
Oil on canvas
1964
55 3/4 x 62 1/2 inches
 
Landscape James Kelly
Landscape
Oil on canvas
1952
24 x 30 inches
 
Untitled Michael Kennedy
Untitled
Oil on canvas
1960
67 x 68 inches
 
3 October 1963 Frank Lobdell
3 October 1963
Oil on canvas
1963
48 x 44 inches
 
17 Feb 1948 Frank Lobdell
17 Feb 1948
Oil on canvas
1948
35 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches
 
Drawing II Frank Lobdell
Drawing II
Mixed media on paper
1963
11 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches
 
Drawing A Frank Lobdell
Drawing A
Mixed media on paper
1964
17 x 13 inches
 
20 January 1948 Frank Lobdell
20 January 1948
Oil on canvas
1948
39 1/2 x 31 3/4 inches
 
5 October 1949 Frank Lobdell
5 October 1949
Oil on canvas
1949
72 x 42 inches
 
Arena _55 Robert McChesney
Arena #55
Sand and enamel on canvas
1961
48 x 69 inches
 
_15 Hassel Smith
#15
Oil on canvas
1961
68 x 48 inches
 
Untitled Hassel Smith
Untitled (PAIR)
Ink on paper
1961
23 x 18 inches
 
Untitled Hassel Smith
Untitled (PAIR)
Ink on paper
1961
23 x 18 inches
 
21 Thousand Leagues Under Deborah Remington
21 Thousand Leagues Under (DR#68)
Color lithograph
1955
21 1/4 x 15 inches
 
Conservatory Jazz Deborah Remington
Conservatory Jazz (DR#67)
Color lithograph
1955
14 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches
 
2300 Skadoo Deborah Remington
2300 Skadoo (DR#73)
Color lithograph
1956
21 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches
 
Departure Deborah Remington
Departure (DR#72)
Color lithograph
1956
23 3/4 x 32 inches
 
Untitled Deborah Remington
Untitled (DR45)
Oil on canvas
1952
26 1/4 x 30 inches
 
Jackson (DR29) Deborah Remington
Jackson (DR29)
Oil on canvas
1951
46 x 38 inches
 
Warego Deborah Remington
Warego (DR26)
Oil on canvas
1951
47 1/2 x 69 inches
 
Untitled Deborah Remington
Untitled (DR9)
Oil on canvas
1949
24 x 19 1/2 inches
 
Untitled Deborah Remington
Untitled (DR5)
Oil on canvas
1949
28 1/4 x 37 3/4 inches
 
Untitled Deborah Remington
Untitled (DR52_Apropos)
Oil on canvas
1953
39 x 51 inches
 
Harrison Street Untitled Charles Strong
Harrison Street Untitled (For Calvin)
Mixed media on paper
1962
25.5 x 30.5 inches
 
Bolinas (Untitled5) Charles Strong
Bolinas (Untitled5)
Acrylic on paper
1965
13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches
 
Bolinas (Untitled4) Charles Strong
Bolinas (Untitled4)
Acrylic on paper
1965
13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches
 
Bolinas (Untitled3) Charles Strong
Bolinas (Untitled3)
Acrylic on paper
1965
13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches
 
Bolinas (Untitled2) Charles Strong
Bolinas (Untitled2)
Acrylic on paper
1965
13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches
 
Bolinas (Untitled1) Charles Strong
Bolinas (Untitled1)
Acrylic on paper
1965
13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches
 
Bolinas Nocturne Charles Strong
Bolinas Nocturne
Acrylic on paper
1965
13 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches
 
Colorado Charles Strong
Colorado
Oil on canvas
1962
61 x 48 3/4 inches
 
Bolinos Charles Strong
Bolinas
Oil on canvas
1965
68 1/2 x 68 1/2 inches
 
Wharf Road Charles Strong
Wharf Road
Oil on canvas
1966
91 1/4 x 132 1/2 inches
 
Summer Charles Strong
Harrison St. Nocturne (Swirl)
Oil on canvas
1963
70 1/4 x 69 inches
 
Untitled Charles Strong
Untitled
Oil on canvas
1960
36 x 46 inches
 
Wharf Road_ Marin Verde Charles Strong
Wharf Road: Marin Verde
Oil on canvas
1965
47 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches
 

David Richard Gallery, LLC
1570 Pacheco Street, A1, Santa Fe, NM 87505 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, or by appointment


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