Tag Archives: painting

CLARE ROJAS’ Geometric Abstractions (and sometimes music)


Bay area based, internationally-shown artist Clare Rojas works in a wide variety of media: painting, installations, video, street art, and children’s books. Her work has been considered to have been emblematic of San Francisco’s Mission School, “a loose group working in San Francisco in the nineties who shared an affinity for old wood, streetscapes, and anything raw or unschooled. They take their inspiration from the urban, bohemian, “street” culture of the Mission District and are strongly influenced by mural and graffiti art, comic and cartoon art, and folk art forms such as sign painting and hobo art. These artists are also noted for use of non-traditional artistic materials, such as house paint, spray paint, correction fluid, ballpoint pens, scrapboard, and found objects.”-clare rojas, wikipedia; mission school, wikipedia; dana goodyear, a ghost in the family, the new yorker

Rojas’ work referenced: “…West Coast modernism, Quaker art, Native American textiles, Byzantine mosaics, and Outsider art, Rojas tells stories through painting, installations, and video. Often her narratives concern relationships between the sexes and among humans and animals, in their struggle to find harmony and balance. Many works quietly celebrate the traditional strengths of women, depicting them like Russian nesting dolls in conventional roles without critical undertones or hints of sexual exploitation. Quilt-like patterns in vivid colors accentuate the folk art-inspired scenes present in some works, while simple geometric forms and stark interiors evoke Bauhaus design in others.” -clare rojas, biography, artsy.net

Over the past 8 or so years, her figurative, folk art-toned work has given way to pure geometric abstractions.  Her paintings are made with oil paint on both linen and paper.

Rojas also plays guitar and banjo under the stage name Peggy Honeywell. As Peggy Honeywell, she wore a long wig and flouncy calico dresses, and sometimes, because she was shy, a paper bag over her head. She has released two albums: Faint Humms (2005) and Green Mountain (2006)

LEON GOLUB: BITE YOUR TONGUE, career survey retrospective at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, 2016

An excellent video produced by Museo Tamayo about their exhibition of Leon Golub’s work, entitled “Bite Your Tongue”. Curator Emma Enderby from the Serpentine Galleries, London discusses the survey exhibition, which charts Golub’s work from the 1950’s up to his death in 2004. Samm Kunce, Manager at Leon Golub & Nancy Spero Foundation for the Arts also discusses Golub’s work, his career and the exhibition. Continue reading LEON GOLUB: BITE YOUR TONGUE, career survey retrospective at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, 2016

MORRIS LOUIS, Washington Color School Abstraction/Color Field Painting, Pt2

Morris Louis Bernstein was one of the earliest exponents of what became known as Color Field painting in the 1950s.  While he was living in Washington D.C. he, along with Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, Tom Downing, Howard Mehring Anne Truitt and Hilda Thorpe and others, formed an art movement that is known today as the Washington Color School. Ultimately Morris would become one of the leading figures of Color Field painting along with his peers Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler and Jules Olitski. Continue reading MORRIS LOUIS, Washington Color School Abstraction/Color Field Painting, Pt2

Lorser Feitelson, West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction, Pt4


Lorser Feitelson, along with his wife Helen Lundeberg, were pioneers of what was to become known as Hard-Edge abstraction in the late 1940s into the 50’s.  Lorser, along with his peers and fellow artists, Karl BenjaminFrederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin were featured in the landmark exhibition, Four Abstract Classicists at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1959.  Jules Langsner, critic, psychiatrist and organizer of the exhibition coined the term “hard-edge” in his essay for the exhibition’s catalogue:

“Abstract Classicist painting is hard-edged painting. Forms are finite, flat, rimmed by a hard clean edge. These forms are not intended to evoke in the spectator any recollections of specific shapes he may have encountered in some other connection. They are autonomous shapes, sufficient unto themselves as shapes.” Continue reading Lorser Feitelson, West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction, Pt4

Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2


Chicago native Karl Benjamin found his way to California to go to college on the G.I.Bill after serving in the Navy during World War II.  With no formal education in art, Benjamin who was an elementary teacher, began working with crayons in the course of developing art lessons for his students’ curriculum. He became enthralled with the way in which colors appeared to change when in juxtaposition with other colors and enrolled in classes at Claremont Graduate School, ultimately earning an M.A. degree in 1960 and developing a serious art practice as a painter who worked rigorously with color.

‘His principal started it all by asking him to add 47 minutes a week of art instruction to the curriculum.“I bought some crayons and paper,” he said. “And the kids drew trucks, trees, mountains. That was boring, so I said, No trucks, no trees. And they said, What should we do? I said the right thing, even though I didn’t have any background in art. I said, Be quiet and concentrate.” – Jori Finkel, Karl Benjamin’s Colorful Resurgence, New York Times, October 7, 2007 Continue reading Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2

Helen Lundeberg: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt1

West Coast (Los Angeles) painter Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) turned to abstraction in the 1950’s after having spent the two previous decades working in social realist and post-surrealist styles of imagemaking. Her precise compositions with their restricted palettes hovered between abstraction and figuration, but always remained rooted in reality, referring  to still lifes, landscapes, planetary forms and architecture.

“I was interested both in the pattern and the three-dimensional illusion created by these very flat geometric forms. At first I confined myself to angles and straight lines. Then I got a little tired of that and began getting some curves.” -Helen Lundeberg

Helen Lundeberg’s paintings have been exhibited widely in prominent museums, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University and the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C. Her work was most recently included in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970, and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition titled In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States.wikipedia