SANTA FE, N.M. — David Richard Contemporary will present "Bay Area Abstraction: 1945-1965," an exhibition featuring the work of Jack Jefferson, Frank Lobdell and Charles Strong. The exhibition opens November 11 with a reception from 5 to 7 pm and remains on view until December 31.
Abstract Expressionism dominated postwar American art and was explored in parallel on the two coasts — in New York with notable figures such as Pollock, De Kooning, 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.
Jefferson's quiet and under stated 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.
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 toward man and the atrocities of war.
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 at 130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D
For information, www.DavidRichardContemporary.com or 505-983-9555.
Antiques and The Arts Weekly, November 11, 2011