False Boundary II

Chairman of the Painting/Printmaking department at Kansas City Art Institute, Rosser moved to the United States from South Wales in 1972. Although trained as a painter, he has spent many of his productive years as an artist constructing sculptures and assemblages. However, in 1998 he returned to painting due to an unfortunate mishap in his studio. During a thunderstorm he was trying to make some repairs in his studio and fell from a stepladder. Rosser received a severe concussion and broke his wrist. These injuries put an end to his sculptures and assemblages since he could no longer use his power tools to create these works. In the fall of 1998 he took a year long sabbatical and began focusing on painting once again. During the past couple of years he has produced more than forty paintings. These new paintings are fresh and not overworked, but visually pleasing. He used palette knives, stencils, squeegees and masking tape in lieu of paintbrushes. In False Boundary, Rosser uses an elliptical motif in a repeating fashion that creates a sense of rhythm. The recurring elliptical shapes characterize this series of paintings. However, other paintings just previous to this work have ?tails? on the ellipses. In this painting the ?tails? are gone, but there are now block forms opposite the ellipses. A real sense of movement exists where the artist has dragged the paint quickly across the surface. The colors of the ellipses turn from a black at the top to white at the bottom of the row. An energetic change seems to be at play in this new body of work by Rosser.

Untitled

Bavinger is not only known for his painting but also for his unique house designed by one of the most prominent architects of the twentieth century, Bruce Goff. Bavinger and his wife, Nancy and some of his students from the University of Oklahoma built the house in the early 1950s. Architects the world over know this house as the Bavinger House. The ambiance of the house reflects the influences of Abstract Expressionism. It became a watering hole for artists to gather and discuss art not unlike the well-known Cedar Tavern in New York City where the legendary New York School artists gathered. His studies in art were interrupted by military duty in 1942. He was a pilot instructor in the Air Force and this experience directly affected not only his outlook on the world but his art, too. He returned to Oklahoma in 1947 and began his teaching career in the art department at the University of Oklahoma where he had once been a student. He began teaching one year after graduation and continued until his retirement from teaching in 1980. In this monumental abstract work by Bavinger, one can observe the influences his military days as a pilot had on his work. The terrain one sees while flying can be seen in this work. The artist stated that his ?ideas are not without reference to nature. However, the interpretation of reality is concerned with force, movement, vibration; and the constantly changing light, color and space.? He felt that it gave his work an abstract identification.

Calamar Blue

Christensen graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1960s but now lives in New York City. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship Theodoran Award and Gottlieb Foundation Grant. His paintings are in the collections of such prominent museums as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His solo and group exhibitions include galleries in cities in Canada, Germany and the United States.

Caldera

Christensen graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1960s but now lives in New York City. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship Theodoran Award and Gottlieb Foundation Grant. His paintings are in the collections of such prominent museums as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His solo and group exhibitions include galleries in cities in Canada, Germany and the United States. This large colorfield painting typifies works created by Christensen during the 1970s. The title literally means ?a large crater,? and when you look at the varying textures on the surface you begin to see some resemblance to volcanic craters. Caldera engages the viewer?s interest as the eye traverses the surface of the canvas seeking out the different textures. The varying textures throughout this alluring work prevent the viewer from getting lost in its overall composition.

Daffodil

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1920, Davis led an exciting life before pursuing an artistic career. During the 1940’s he published poems, worked as a White House correspondent during the Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman administrations and covered local sports news for the Washington Daily News. After entering psychoanalysis in 1949 he began painting and by the late sixties he could afford to pursue art as his full-time career. Known for his stripe paintings, Davis remarked that the stripe as a subject was the same as a painter?s use of a model for a subject. His obsession with the simple stripe led to his manipulating it in all its variations. He considered himself to be a fanatic in the way that he made a special program out of not deviating from the stripe during his career. He likened his own fanaticism to that of Mondrian, a painter who favored rectilinear grids. ?Actually, I?m interested in color to define intervals, in somewhat the same way a map maker uses color to define states or countries. It?s for definition instead of decoration.? – Gene Davis

Gray Plateau

The youngest daughter of a New York State Supreme Court Justice, Helen made her own mark in the world early in her career as a painter. Influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, Helen experimented with techniques of staining a canvas after watching Jackson Pollock using his drip method. In 1952 she made her breakthrough into the art world when she painted Mountains and Sea. In this painting she used her own method of staining an unprimed canvas with paint. In 1958 she married fellow Abstract Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell but the marriage ended in 1971. She made sets and costumes for the ballet in the past and taught art over the years. Today she is recognized as one of the most important female artists of the second half of the twentieth century. This painting by Frankenthaler contains the atmospheric quality of her stained works on canvas. Her technique of brushing, blotting, and rubbing paint on unprimed canvas permitted her to achieve this atmospheric and lyrical quality in her work. Rather than sitting on top of the canvas, the paint is in the raw canvas and lays flat. Gray Plateau was exhibited at the opening of the Pompidou Center in Paris in 1977.

Trespass

The youngest daughter of a New York State Supreme Court Justice, Helen made her own mark in the world early in her career as a painter. Influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, Helen experimented with techniques of staining a canvas after watching Jackson Pollock using his drip method. In 1952 she made her breakthrough into the art world when she painted Mountains and Sea. In this painting she used her own method of staining an unprimed canvas with paint. She used this same technique to paint Trespass but by the 1970’s the colors on her canvases became denser. In 1958 she married fellow Abstract Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell but the marriage ended in 1971. She made sets and costumes for the ballet in the past and taught art over the years. Today she is recognized as one of the most important female artists of the second half of the twentieth century.

Purple Vertical

Goodnough loved to draw from an early age and when he was a teenager he signed up for a Saturday morning art class taught by Walter Long, a former Syracuse University art professor. Long recognized Goodnough?s abilities early on and passed some of his work on to a former colleague at Syracuse. This led to Goodnough?s talents being rewarded with a scholarship to Syracuse University to study art. Like so many of his fellow abstract painters, Goodnough was drafted during World War II. He served in the field artillery and did portraits and murals for various military installations. He became aquainted with the works of Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso through some old magazines that he discovered in 1945. The works of these artists left a great impact on young Goodnough. After the war, Goodnough moved to New York City and studied art on the G.I. Bill at New York University. He earned his master?s degree and started teaching there while simultaneously running a soda fountain, working as a carpentry instructor and helping friends run a news stand till he could afford to make his living off the sale of his paintings. He even reviewed exhibitions for ARTnews during this period but gave that up because after viewing so much painting he began doubting why anyone should paint. In Purple Vertical one can see the beauty of Goodnough?s lyrical abstract style. The subtle layering of colors gives the surface a soft textured look. Patterns resembling mosaic tiles add elements of interest to this eye-pleasing work of art. Purple Vertical exhibits qualities of calm and control that add to the overall effect of the serene composition.