Laband Art Gallery
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA
California Paintings, 1910 - 1940: Selections from the Mills College Art Museum
August 25 - September 30, 2000
Organized by independent curator Ann Harlow from the collection of the Mills College Art Museum, "California Paintings, 1910 - 1940" casts light on a period that saw the simultaneous flowering of art in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. It was in the years around the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expositions in San Francisco and San Diego that California artists developed a style of landscape painting that fused an academic "naturalist" philosophy with the techniques of Impressionism, and that eventually led to other modes of artistic expression and experimentation. At the same time public interest in the visual arts was stimulated and a number of public and private arts institutions were established in the new urban centers up and down the coast. (left: Anne Bremer (1868-1923), Carmel, c. 1920, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches, Gift of Albert M.Bender, 1925.14)
Ann Harlow explains California artists' bent towards representational art in the early decades of the 20th century in the exhibition's brochure essay: "It was clearly a matter of choice, not ignorance, that kept California's artists painting recognizable subjects, usually the beautiful and varied landscape of their state, in styles that were considered modern in their own regional context. In many cases the artists expressed in their work a strong spiritual connection with nature or an admiration for the indigenous peoples of the region who lived in a closer relationship to the land." (left: William Wendt (1865-1946), Wandering Shadows, 1925, oil on canvas, 25 1/8 x 30 inches, Gift of Mills College Club of Southern California, 1925.53, Conservation treatment sponsored by DeRus Fine Arts, Belllflower, CA)
In Oakland an art gallery was established at Mills College with the help of Bay Area arts patron Albert M. Bender in 1925. To launch the gallery, Bender donated numerous works of art from his own collection and encouraged gifts from his artist friends throughout the state. These works make up the core of "California Paintings, 1910-I940."
Included in the 41 paintings and watercolors in the exhibition are "impressionist-style" landscapes by Anne Millay Bremer (1868-1923), Granville Redmond (1871-1935), and William Wendt (1865-1946). Tonalist images by Giuseppe Leone Cadenasso (1854-1918), Xavier Timoteo Martinez (1869-1943), and Gottardo Fidele Piazzoni (1872-1945). Regionalist works of the 1930s including watercolors by Claire McCarthy Falkenstein (1908-1997), Dong Kingman (1911-2000) and George Booth Post (1906-1997), as well as canvases by Albert Barrows and Elinor Ulman; plus more "independent" styles by Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971), Maurice Braun (1877-1941), Maynard Dixon, (1875-1946), and Joseph Raphael (1869-1950).
Several works reflect California's proximity to Mexico and the Southwest. Both Xavier Martinez and Alfredo Ramos Martinez (1872-1946) were natives of Mexico who immigrated to California but often painted Mexican subjects. Will Sparks' (1862-1937) moonlight view is of an adobe house in Ensenada, Baja California. Paintings by Maynard Dixon and Helen Katherine Forbes (1891-1945) depict American Indians.
"California Paintings, 1910-1940" provides an enlightening cross-section of the eclectic art activity in the state when its artists explored modernism within a regional context. It is accompanied by a scholarly brochure by Ms. Harlow, illustrated with color reproductions.
There will be a lecture by curator Ann Harlow, Saturday, September 9, 2000 at 2-3 pm in the Murphy Recital Hall, followed by an Opening Reception, 3 - 5 pm
Read more about the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University in Resource Library Magazine.
Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/18/11
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