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  • Writer's pictureDavid Eichholtz

Gestural and Calligraphic Works on Paper by Dean Fleming from the 1970s

Dean Fleming dedicated most of his career to abstraction with a particular interest in two areas: 1) geometry, to explore and capture in a flat picture plane the complexities of dimensional space and 2) cultural symbols, iconography and mark making that often referenced spirituality, nature and the land. 

In the 1960s, Fleming’s artworks were almost exclusively geometric and hard edge as a founding member of the Park Place Gallery and artist collective in lower Manhattan. The 1970s were marked by a more gestural approach with strong calligraphic influences following his travels to Japan earlier in that same decade. The following works on paper reflect his art from that period. However, since Fleming also liked to create internal tensions within his compositions by leveraging dualities and contrasting dialogues, many of these works include a calligraphic symbol as well as a geometric form. The 70s works on paper as well as canvases were more painterly, exploring color and various methods of applying paint to the supports in addition to novel materials and media such as Roplex. All of the works below are signed and dated lower right corner and unframed. 

Dean Fleming Untitled (FLED14413), 1977 Acrylic on paper  16.5 x 13"

Dean Fleming Untitled (FLED14435), 1978 Acrylic on paper  14 x 11"

Dean Fleming Untitled (FLED14431), 1978 Acrylic on paper  14 x 11"

Dean Fleming Untitled, (FLED14426) 1978 Acrylic on paper  14 x 11"

Dean Fleming Untitled ( FLED14451), 1977 Acrylic on paper  14 x 11"

Dean Fleming Untitled (FLED14424), 1978 Acrylic on paper  14 x 11"

About DEAN FLEMING: Dean Fleming studied at the California School of Fine Arts with Elmer Bischoff and Frank Lobdell. There, he developed life-long friendships with Peter Forakis, Leo Valledor and Mark di Suvero. He shared a studio with Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Bill Brown and Forakis and regularly exhibited at the Six Gallery and Batman Gallery in San Francisco. Fleming moved to New York in 1961 and was a founding member of the Park Place Gallery, an important artist collective and exhibition venue for experimental art in lower Manhattan of New York in the 1960s. The founders were interested in working with diverse materials and approaches in painting and sculpture to explore their mutual interest in literal and illusory space, music and social concerns. Moving to the Rocky Mountains in 1967 and founding Libre, an artist community, Fleming continued his extensive international travels and fascination with diverse cultures and artistic practices that inspired and informed his artwork. In 1966, Fleming was included in the important exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, “Systemic Painting”, organized by Lawrence Alloway. Fleming’s artworks are included in the collections of the Oakland Museum, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania; Denver Museum of Art, Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; San Francisco Art Institute, California; Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C.; and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, among others

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