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BEYOND BRUT: Jean Marc Calvet and Lyle Carbajal at Frederick Holmes and Co. Seattle

Beyond Brut: At Frederick Holmes and Company in Seattle.

Two artists in dialogue, Calvet speaks from an intense and apparently endless well of complex angst filled characters, while Carbjal’s pieces respond with symbolic precision and create an air synonymous with objects that have existed for a millennia. Having know of each others work and having been friends for some time this is the first occasion they have shown together.

Gallery Owner Fred Holmes took a chance by hanging such vivid work together, there is always a chance one body of work will overwhelm the other. In this case we see a visual dialogue that, if anything has raised and revealed the sublime nuances that are often only felt but remain hidden from sight.

Beyond Brut: at Frederick Holmes and Co. through May 1st. 309 Occidental Ave. South, Seattle, Wa 98104

Jean Marc Cavet: Big lies for little sins
Jean Marc Calvet: Big lies for little sins

 

Lyle Carbajal
Lyle Carbajal

 

Frederick Holmes and Co. Beyond Brut: Cavet and Carbajal
Frederick Holmes and Co. Beyond Brut: Calvet and Carbajal

By Travis Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Micah LeBrun – Cornered – 111 Minna

Seeing art at 111 Minna is an experience in itself. The hybrid bar and gallery tends to creates a more inviting and relaxed opening environment. The show “Cornered” by Micah LeBrun was no exception.

In addition to being an accomplished painter LeBrun is also the Curator of 111 Minna, he painted the show in the last ten weeks after the scheduled artist dropped out.  His familiarity with the space and the diligent nature of his effort has led to a comprehensive and compelling exhibition. This is his sixth one man show at 111 Minna, the first five coming before his tenure as curator began in 2010.

Micah LeBrun "Cornered"
Micah LeBrun “Cornered”

Ranging between large scale floral still lifes and small intimate abstractions there are also references to urban pop and street art. His intense use of color is balanced by his prowess as an illustrator. LeBrun exhibits precise confidence in a variety of media including acrylic, oil, spray can, etching on glass and oil bar. He uses the latter to fill the empty silhouettes of regal figures and create paintings infused with the stoic nature of  chess pieces.

The Queen Acrylic & Oil Bar on Panel 32" x 26" 2015
The Queen-Acrylic & Oil Bar on Panel
32″ x 26″-2015

This show is a departure from the smaller more intricate paintings he is typically associated with. Often when an artist changes formats they sacrifice certain parts of their technique, LeBrun instead seizes the opportunity to loosen up and embrace a more automatic and gestural approach. His lists Picasso, Peter Max and Warhol among his influences all of whom are apparent in this show, however the influence seems to dwell at a level of instinct as opposed to active consideration.

I was struck by a large floral entitled Henry VIII, LeBrun remarked some of his earliest paintings were florals but he had moved away from them to look for more intense subjects. In this show we see flowers reappearing twenty years later. The bold primary colors fenced in black create a clarity that makes these pieces graphic while not sacrificing the delicate nature of the subject itself.

Henry VIII Acrylic & Oil Bar on Panel 42" x 36" 2015
Henry VIII – Acrylic & Oil Bar on Panel – 42″ x 36″ – 2015

At 39, Lebrun has recently relocated his home and studio to Marin County with his young family, I get the impression he has come full circle not just in his subject matter but also in his approach to painting in general. If Cornered is an indication of LeBrun’s future endeavors, I am optimistically awaiting his next show.

 

“Cornered” runs through February 28th at 111 Minna in San Francisco.

Travis Wilson

For more information on the show: www.111minnagallery.com

THE TAKEAWAY: The takeaway is the piece of art I would add to my personal collection if given my pick of the show. The rules are: 1)You can’t sell it. 2)It must be displayed in a prominent place in your home. 

In Case of Emergency Oil & Acrylic on Panel 48" x 35.5" 2015
In Case of Emergency Oil & Acrylic on Panel
48″ x 35.5″
2015

Initially I was dead set on Henry VIII, There is a classic allure to it I couldn’t shake. But ultimately, my takeaway is a painting entitled In Case of Emergency. The large scale rotary phone symbolizes a level of simplicity that is increasingly difficult to come by in the modern world, while the loose brush strokes and limited palette create an impression of measured improvisation inherent to the experienced hand.

 

 

 

Travis Wilson is an independent curator and writer, he is also the owner of Gallery (WAS). Gallery (WAS) specializes in the estates of artists who made a historical contribution but have been overlooked by the art world at large. www.gallerywas.com

 

Press Release-Art on Paper Miami, Sam Haskins, Gallery (WAS)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

Sam Haskins- “Master of the 60’s” to be displayed at Art on Paper Miami

 

 

Miami, FL – December 1 – 6th 2015/ – Vintage prints by legendary photographer Sam Haskins will be exhibited at ‘Art on Paper Miami’ at the Deauville Beach Resort. Sam Haskins is a major 20th Century figure whose photography and books can be found in public and private collection internationally.

Gallery (WAS) in conjunction with The Sam Haskins Estate will focus on contemporary and vintage examples of Haskins work from 1961-1968. This will be the first ever overview of Haskins work from the sixties via his four seminal black and white books of personal creative photography; Five Girls (1962), Cowboy Kate & Other Stories (1964), November Girl (1967), African Image (1967). This exhibition will feature previously unreleased vintage prints of Sam Haskins photographs and a tiny stock of pristine vintage books will also be available for sale.

Sam Haskins was a South African born British photographer. He immigrated to London with his family, from Johannesburg, in 1968. His sixties books revolutionized figurative photography and influenced an entire generation of photographers. In his lifetime Haskins did not release vintage examples of his work, requests for prints were met with fresh works made on demand. Art on Paper Miami will be the first opportunity for the public to see these seminal images in their original vintage form. Unlike many master photographers, Sam printed all his own black and white work and these prints are exciting objects from a key period in the history of photography.

To a wide variety of contemporary creatives, especially in the fashion and glamour industry, Sam Haskins is a greater influence now than ever. This show is an opportunity to view and for the first time to own original vintage works by Sam Haskins. Highly affordable contemporary estate prints will also be available.

Gallery (WAS) is proud to collaborate with the Sam Haskins Estate and this inaugural installation of Art on Paper Miami. We consider the promotion of artists that made a large historical contribution but have been overlooked by the Art World at large a crucial mission. In addition to Sam Haskins we will also show rare works by Walter Quirt, Gerome Kamrowski, Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. Gallery (WAS) is located at 22 Summer Ave, Fairfax, Ca 94930. By Appointment. Tel. 415-272-2948,

 

Email Address: travis@wilsonartservicellc.com

Vintage Silver Print 1966
Vintage Silver Print 1966

 

Excellent reviews for Walter Quirt | Revolutions Unseen in the Daily

Hosted by Frederick Holmes and Company: Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, “Revolutions Unseen” is an exhibition of Walter Quirt’s art that spans from 1939 to 1964. The evolution of his pieces through these years leaves the viewer with no question why Quirt is considered one of America’s most seminal modernist painters.

Quirt’s pieces guide the viewer through nearly 30 years of his artistic evolution, which began with surrealist paintings focused on color to elicit emotion in the viewer. As his work progressed, he focused more on texture and the pieces leaning more heavily on large gestural strokes. But throughout his entire artistic career, Quirt put meaning behind every piece, no matter the form it took.

Visitors walk into the gallery and are immediately entranced by vibrant colors and intricate linework. When examined further, icons in the images meant to evoke emotion reveal themselves to have religious connotations, despite Quirt having been an atheist. Quirt’s intentions are obvious, attempting to get an emotional response from the viewer through these designs.

One such painting, titled “The Damned,” depicts seven people within the colorful design, each one representative of one of the seven deadly sins.

In this gallery, viewers go through the evolution from radical social surrealist art to larger gestural paintings focused on emotion. It is rare to see such a large exhibition of intact work on display.

To the casual observer, the artwork looks like a child’s coloring book where, instead of filling the sections in with a realistic color, the most expressive and brightest hues available were chosen. Visitors feel like they have walked into candy land as their eyes are immediately filled with all the colors of the rainbow.

As the viewer walks through the first level of the gallery, their gaze is caught by beautiful sweeps of color, accented with black to reveal figures, yet connecting them into the backdrop cohesively as if in a Gotye music video. Next are colorful paintings with random shapes, lines, and angles, like a puzzle forced together to create a completely new image that does not match the box.

Ascend up the stairs to the upper balcony and you progress through Quirt’s life. Just at the top of the stairs, his art is already evolving. The images become less bright, letting the texture of the piece and the overlapping of the brushstrokes take main stage instead of the color of his earlier works.

In this gallery, there are three horses, titled “Horse,” “Creation Horse,” and “Untitled Horse II.” They span from 1959 to 1961, and in that short time, the evolution of Quirt’s work is clear.

Quirt’s work was a protest in a world surrounded by the chaos of World War II. But rather than compromise his style for success, he stayed an underrated artist until now.

“Quirt did not change who he was to satiate the art world,” said Travis Wilson, curator of the exhibition.

In his time, Quirt experienced firsthand that to be an artist of principle, the price was obscurity. Quirt accepted this fate fully and willingly. Indeed, this is depicted in much of his work.“People may not relate to the style or media used,” Wilson said, “but they will connect with the substance behind the art, the idea to defend the art you are making.”This exhibition is free for all to see. The exhibit will remain open through May 31.The verdict: Don’t let this exhibit go ‘unseen.’

Seattle Times Review of Walter Quirt | Revolutions Unseen

By Nancy Worssam

EXHIBITION REVIEW

‘Walter Quirt: Revolutions Unseen’

Through May 31, Frederick Holmes and Company, 309 Occidental Ave S, Seattle (206-682-0166 or frederickholmesandcompany.com).

Special to The Seattle Times

If you’ve never heard of Walter Quirt, you are not alone. Yet he is a monumental modernist American painter, viewed as revolutionary at his peak and admired by the likes of fellow artists Romare Bearden and Stuart Davis, whose laudatory letters are included in this exhibition.

But because Quirt refused to compromise his leftist views, the federal government viewed him as a possibly dangerous malcontent. He continued to paint, but he paid dearly for his political stance.

Today his work is in the collections of such institutions as the museums of modern art in New York and San Francisco, the Smithsonian, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Seattle’s own University of Washington Henry Art Gallery, yet Quirt’s name is still not well known. The current exhibition at the Frederick Holmes Gallery, created in collaboration with Wilson Art Service, is a chance to appreciate his enormous talent.

The Michigan-born Quirt (1902-1968) began his painting career in the 1930s as a Social Realist railing against the inequities of capitalism, the outrageous treatment of black Americans and the suffering brought on by the Depression. He viewed his art as a propaganda weapon. Injustice haunted him. He was compelled to fight it.

By the late 1930s, his work underwent a monumental change probably precipitated by his withdrawal from the Communist Party and experience with Freudian analysis. He was still interested in issues of human justice but now he wanted to set free the subconscious, to find the universal symbols through which he could express his beliefs and incorporate them within his work. Thus began his Abstract Surrealist period.

Around 1941, the grand dame of contemporary painting, Peggy Guggenheim, came to his studio to offer him a one-man exhibition — if he’d paint what she deemed important. His response: “I didn’t ask for a solo show, and I didn’t invite you to my studio.” Here was a painter unwilling to sell his soul, even for enormous potential reward.

A number of the paintings in the Holmes exhibit exemplify his Abstract Surrealist period. In the 1942 work “Nature’s Children,” the canvas is broken into small bits of vibrant color, some representing geometric forms; others depicting faces, hands; sinuous curves. It’s a riot of color that takes reality and twists and distorts it.

So, too, does the 1943 painting “The Crucified.” Again his canvas is filled with color and meaningful icons and designs. Within that heterogeneous mass, the viewer can distinguish the cross and the crucified Christ as well as the mourners, but it’s the color and the swirling mass of bits and pieces that first capture attention.

Natures' Children 1942 Oil on Canvas 40 x 48 inches
Natures’ Children 1942 Oil on Canvas 40 x 48 inches

Totally different are Quirt’s three abstract oil paintings of horses from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Gone are the surrealist elements. Here, the masterful use of line and color is commanding.

His career was constantly evolving, and this evolution is wonderfully captured in this exhibition showing work from the 1930s to the mid-’60s. Quirt was an artist breaking new ground with art designed to serve society. As he said, “The great artist is the one who faithfully follows his impulses, who vigorously and courageously peels off layer after layer of restrictions, prohibitions, and inhibitions. This takes courage, for it automatically means suffering.”

 

de Young Museum adds two paintings by Walter Quirt to their permanent collection

Wilson Art Service (WAS) is honored to have place two pieces from its current exhibition: Walter Quirt|Revolutions Unseen in the permanent collection of the de Young Museum here in San Francisco. The paintings “Untitled” and “How the Rabbit Lost its Life” will join the current exhibition “Shaping Abstraction” next week. The de Young boasts the 5th largest attendance in the United States. In the mean time, you can come see them and the rest of the show at Frederick Holmes and Company 309 Occidental Ave S Seattle, WA 98104 (in Occidental Square) Opening May 2nd.

#deYoung #sanfrancisco #wilsonartservice #shapingabstraction #sfexaminer #sfgate

 

2015-03-26 14.48.52-1

Untitled c. 1948 Oil on Canvas on board 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches
Untitled c. 1948 Oil on Canvas on board 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches
How The Rabbit Lost Its Life 1944 Oil on Canvas inches
How The Rabbit Lost Its Life 1944 Oil on Canvas inches

Happy Birthday Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock and Walter Quirt

http://www.biography.com/people/jackson-pollock-9443818

Jackson Pollock and Walter Quirt worked together as WPA muralists throughout the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. A 1999 publication by the MoMA  discusses Walter Quirt’s influence on Jackson Pollock in the early 1940’s. In 1944 Sidney Janis published Abstract and Surrealist Art in America- This publication was one of the first to focus on the importance of the burgeoning New York School. In its pages, Mr. Janis placed Pollock’s She-Wolf along side of Quirt’s The Crucified.

Abstract Art in America by Sidney Janis(1944) in front of The Crucified by Walter Quirt (1943)
Abstract Art in America by Sidney Janis(1944) in front of The Crucified by Walter Quirt (1943)
The Crucified 1943 Oil on Canvas 30x50 inches
The Crucified  Walter Quirt 1943 Oil on Canvas 30×50 inches
Jackson Pollock She-Wolf 1943
Jackson Pollock She-Wolf 1943