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Artist Retrospectives

Ernie Barnes’ ‘Sugar Shack’: Why museum-goers line up to see ex-NFL player’s painting



At the California African American Museum’s retrospective dedicated to late artist and former NFL player Ernie Barnes, “The Sugar Shack” is an undeniable star.

Visitors often form a line around the painting, said the show’s curator, Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor in the departments of African American studies and art history at UC Irvine. They all wait for their moment with Barnes’ work, a piece that entered pop-culture consciousness after appearing on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times” and as the cover art to Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album, “I Want You.”

“The Sugar Shack” transports viewers to a jubilant black club. Vibrant, dancing partygoers and musicians fill the 3-by-4-foot canvas. Most have their eyes closed, a signature in nearly all of Barnes’ paintings, referring to his oft-stated belief that “we are blind to each other’s humanity.”

As a neo-mannerist who referenced the late Renaissance period of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, Barnes painted the figures in “The Sugar Shack” as exaggerated and elongated forms, one man’s arms joyously nearly reaching the top of the canvas, another woman’s curvy legs stretching halfway across the dance floor. Barnes’ expressive style helps viewers identify with the rhythm and sensuality of the painting, Cooks said.

One central figure in the painting is a woman in a yellow dress and white shoes, dancing at the front of the tall stage, her back to the viewer. She’s a character who appears in artworks throughout Barnes’ career.

It’s easy to get lost in the revelers, but a closer look reveals unexpected details. Nestled in a corner between the stairs and the stage is a black man in a blue uniform, sitting with a newspaper at his feet. Unlike the rest of the figures on the canvas his expression is downcast. He seems to be an outsider.

Cooks isn’t certain if he’s working security or if he’s an off-duty policeman relaxing with the music. But she compared the figure to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1981 work “Irony of the Negro Policeman.” “He’s representing law and order and we don’t think about the police being, especially today, friends of the black community,” Cooks said.

Barnes was born into a working-class family in segregated Durham, N.C., in 1938. He painted “The Sugar Shack” from a childhood memory — sneaking into the Durham Armory, a venue that hosted segregated dances and that still exists today. “This was a place where you could go as a black person and see Duke Ellington and see Clyde McPhatter,” Cooks said. Barnes, who died in 2009, recalled in a 2008 interview that the experience was the “first time my innocence met with the sins of dance.”

After being drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1959, Barnes played professional football for teams including the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers until 1965, before pursuing his passion for art.

Ernie Barnes at work

Ernie Barnes working in his studio in 1992.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

In the early 1970s, Barnes settled in L.A.’s Fairfax district. He became interested in Jewish culture and was impressed with how much the community knew of its history, Cooks said. “And he really wished that black people had the same type of cultural education.” Inspired by the “Black Is Beautiful” movement, he premiered his exhibition “The Beauty of the Ghetto,” 35 paintings depicting everyday scenes from black life, in 1972.

His work during the time, including “The Sugar Shack,” was about “showing blackness as beautiful and even exaggerating form,” Cooks said. “It’s not about trying to hide the curves of your body or the facial features that you have. It’s about showing them, even exaggerating them and making it not even just OK but something to really be celebrated.”

“The Sugar Shack” ascended into pop culture by chance.

After Barnes played a game of basketball with Gaye, the soul singer caught a glimpse of Barnes’ painting in his car. “He went crazy and he was like I have to have this,” Cooks said.

Barnes augmented the painting to include references to Gaye’s music, and the work became the cover of his “I Want You” album in 1976. That same year, Barnes painted a “Sugar Shack” duplicate, which is on display at CAAM. According to a note written by the artist, he created the second painting because the first “moved around, uninsured” and out of his control.

In the 1970s, producer Norman Lear commissioned Barnes to create original paintings for the Jimmie Walker character J.J. in “Good Times,” the sitcom about a black family living in a Chicago housing project. In later seasons “The Sugar Shack” was the backdrop for the show’s credits.

The painting became part of American national memory, something of a mythical object, Cooks said. The curator believes Barnes would have found “The Sugar Shack” selfie lines at CAAM to be meaningful.

“It’s wonderful to see how much respect the painting commands,” she said. “People really understand this is a painting that in some ways belongs to everyone.”

‘Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective’
Where: California African American Museum, Exposition Park, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 8.
Admission: FreeInfo:

Revisiting Artist Richard Bernstein’s Epochal Legacy

In this new book from Rizzoli, the famed illustrator for Interview magazine and long-time Grace Jones collaborator takes the spotlight.



Most people assume that Andy Warhol designed the covers for Interview, the magazine he founded in 1969 with British journalist John Wilcock—and it’s no wonder they do, given that Andy Warhol’s signature is on every single one of them. But in actuality, it was the artist Richard Bernstein, a contemporary of Warhol’s and a vibrant member of New York’s downtown scene before his death in 2002, who created the magazine’s most iconic covers using a mixture of collage, photography, and paint that transformed the merely young and famous into absolute supernovas.


Limited Edition Prints by Richard Bernstein

Mark Sabin Portfolio

Mark Sabin

Born in New York City and raised in Florida, Mark Sabin has produced paintings that embody a synthesis of the primitive and the surreal. The artist is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University School of Law. He attended New York University Film School and worked for a time in the motion picture industry. He studied print-making at Pratt Graphics Center and has created lithographs, silkscreens, and etchings. Mark Sabin’s paintings and prints are in many prestigious collections, including the permanent collections of the Museum of American Folk Art in New York and the American Museum in Bath, England. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in New York, London, Montreal, Boston, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, and Palm Beach. His paintings have appeared on the cover of Harper’s Magazine and the Bloomingdale’s Christmas catalogue. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has selected his work for reproduction and his art has been featured in numerous leading publications. The artist currently lives and works in East Hampton, New York.

Nicholas Krushenick Retrospective Art in America


Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999)

Featured in Art in America, Feb. 2015 Issue

“The pure products of America go crazy,” wrote William Carlos Williams. And if such lost souls don’t crash and burn, which they often do, their craziness is sometimes channeled into original artistic expression. Even then, those “pure products” might have a hard time getting along or fitting in. Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999) made paintings that are simultaneously idiosyncratic and inevitable, melding Pop and abstraction seemingly before anyone else thought to do it—a fusion that has survived its original moment to seem more vital than ever. Although he enjoyed considerable success in his lifetime, Krushenick wasn’t catapulted into the front rank of American painters, where he arguably deserves to be. Part of the reason is that his paintings are ornery, and so was he. What’s more, the American cultural milieu tends to favor specialization, while Krushenick’s work is too Pop for the abstract purists and too abstract for Pop’s populism. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t look dated in the least.

In fact, Krushenick’s paintings are now enjoying a well-deserved resurgence of interest, based partly on exhibitions at Mitchell Algus, Marianne Boesky, Gary Snyder and Garth Greenan, all in New York, and partly on the first extensive survey of his work, which opens this month at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, curated by museum director Ian Berry.

As papers in the Archives of American Art make clear, Krushenick was less interested in concocting a hybridized style than in being forthrightly an artist of his time, aiming for a singular greatness. This didn’t mean rejecting influences entirely, however. He would routinely discuss his excitement over Henri Rousseau, his respect for Picasso and his general awe of Matisse, whom he considered the greatest artist of the 20th century. A 1959 exhibition of Matisse cut-outs at New York’s Museum of Modern Art prompted Krushenick’s own pivotal shift into flat color with stark figure/ground contrast. (One is compelled to wonder what impact MoMA’s latest exhibition of the cut-outs, closing Feb. 10, will have on emerging artists.)

Krushenick was born in the Bronx in 1929 and grew up there, in a borough that conjures tough scenes and tough people. But his neighborhood was fairly quiet. Although his public schools were cash poor, the education was solid, and Krushenick was proud of getting good grades. He always wanted to be an artist and was constantly drawing and making models. His father was a Ukrainian immigrant, and he had a brother—John, older by two years—for companionship and rivalry. With a fierce attachment to his own impressions and goals, the young Nicholas wasn’t much of a joiner, preferring to make things with his hands rather than to engage in high school sports or social activities. He left school at the age of 17 to join the Army. The war had ended the previous year, and his plan was to use the GI Bill to pursue his real interest. In effect, he joined the Army to go to art school.

Two years later, Krushenick was out of the military and back in New York. After a brief stint as a construction worker on the Major Deegan Expressway, he enrolled in the Art Students League, which he later described as having “the worst collection of instructors one could ever get.” He did meet and study with Hans Hofmann, whom he respected while not liking his work, and he even encouraged his buddy from the Bronx, Al Held, to sign up at the Art Students League as well.

Once finished with school, Krushenick struggled to assimilate Picasso, much as the Abstract Expressionist generation had done before and during the war. He then proceeded to struggle with Hofmann. John had by then followed Nicholas into art-making, and the two Krushenick brothers joined the Camino Gallery, a 10th Street co-op, in 1957. The pair soon grew frustrated with the other members’ conservatism, however. So they left Camino  to start what would become one of the great co-op galleries of all time, Brata—its name a spin on brati, the Ukrainian word for “brothers.” Among the members were Al Held, Ed Clark, Yayoi Kusama, George Sugarman and Ron Bladen.

By the late ’50s, Krushenick was presenting hieratic arrangements of brushy, planar forms, still animated by gesture and outlined in black or near-black strokes. The segmented cruciforms of an untitled 1959 acrylic-on-paper triptych evince some of the high-minded, tragic angst of Abstract Expressionism, but there is an emergent, antic quality to a dogleg form that seems to enter the picture on the left, predictive perhaps of the marching hairy legs that were to tromp through Philip Guston’s pictures some 10 years later.

Once he committed to abstraction, Krushenick never again painted representational forms, though he sometimes came close and seemed to be perpetually on the verge of depicting some nearly recognizable spaces, the first being the emblematic, two-dimensional space of the graphic sign. Krushenick’s work from 1960 and 1961 uses the letters X and O, which have a kind of geometric purity. The areas of paint get flatter, though there is still a rough, expressionistic edge to his forms. Nevertheless, the characteristic posterlike flatness of the artist’s mature work was imminent.

Before being deeply moved by the Matisse show at MoMA, Krushenick had experimented with collage and assemblage works that bear a passing resemblance to Pierre Alechinsky’s cartoonishly bordered gesturalism. But by the early ’60s, he was slowing down his own animated marking into more fixed patterns, pushing the invocation of movement almost entirely into design rather than touch. He began using Liquitex acrylic to produce flat matte shapes in vivid spectrum hues. Separating the colors with a narrower band of black sustained their distinct chromatic intensities, much as lead cames do in stained glass windows or black outlines in comic books.

The first painting that Krushenick considered to be fully his own is another untitled canvas from 1961, featuring a blue bulb bound in black against a white ground. The form hangs from a black horizontal band at the top of the painting and is cradled in the hollow of an undulating yellow band also bordered by black. The bottom third of the painting is a black plane, so the salacious cupping between the blue and yellow bands appears to be taking place in midair.

By 1962, the artist had set his course with the imagery and spatial intervals that we recognize as his signature style: shapes are outlined in black, colors are high-key and flat, and, while some forms undulate, a threshold space often abuts the stretcher bars, establishing a rectilinear geometry that plays against the quasi-organic shapes. The paintings are deeply disciplined, but at the time their graphic boldness and hot colors made them seem loud and brash, even against the backdrop of the emerging Pop aesthetic. The chief forms of the 1962 and ’63 paintings are slightly wavy bands of one color that interweave into webbing patterns, as well as fluttery extended triangles that could allude to feathers, flames or the jungle leaves of Krushenick’s beloved Rousseau. And it may be a sign of increasing confidence that he titled several of the paintings with a sense of humor: Rousseau Giving Love and Lions (1962) and Turn Back Columbus(1963). But these first mature paintings are anything but pristine. Ridges from previous designs—and sometimes even entirely different paintings—are visible under the otherwise flat acrylic color.

By 1965, Krushenick’s imagery shifted to circus-tent bands of alternating color and fleshy folds that overlap in optically recessive layers, as inBattery Park (1965), or play off against regimental stripes, as in Son of King Kong (1966). In nearly every painting, the artist establishes a sense that one pattern crosses another with very little diminution in scale, like two-dimensional ducks in a shooting gallery. The carny associations arise through the purposeful artificiality of his shallow, non-perspectival space. Spatial illusion exists in his paintings only as a gestalt reading of two or more patterns and the vivid yet freezing flat blue that may lie “behind” equally flat swaths of sizzling yellow and red. As in Coney Island sideshow banners, everything in these paintings is a sign for movement and space rather than a convincing representation of gestures or orthogonally diagrammable depth.

The easy comparison was with Roy Lichtenstein, which Krushenick bore gracefully, but the abstraction and kooky boldness of his images link him more closely with his gallery mates at Brata. Certainly Krushenick’s organic folds comport with the packed tendrils of Kusama’s “Compulsion Furniture” series (1964), while his intense polychromes share a sensibility with images by Held and Sugarman.

At the time, Frank Stella was using bright commercial paints in pieces like Hyena Stomp (1962), but such works still assert an Apollonian cool that the Brata group had set out to demolish. Their work didn’t look like each other’s, but it shared a sense of optimistic brashness and goofiness, a quality that European critics of the day termed “American.” With a Surrealist hangover, inflected by Pop and Minimalism, the Brata artists barreled into a highway barrier of pop-culture graphics. This was the era of legendary illustrator Jack Kirby at Marvel Comics and of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, the creator of the bug-eyed, slobbering hot-rod horror Rat Fink. Krushenick, the kid from the Bronx who spiritually never left, could feel it all and saw the cultural moment, in its totality, as a decisive break from the past. Even Held became Europeanized in Krushenick’s eyes, and their friendship ultimately waned.

In 1967, Krushenick made a number of large shaped paintings on wood panel, such as The Red Baron and Steeplechase, using cartoonish cloud outlines to disrupt brightly striped linear forms. Other painters such as Ed Clark and Sven Lukin had previously investigated shaped painting, but none approached Krushenick’s graphic punch. And he continued to push beyond the object constraints of the stretched canvas. Besides the shaped canvases, and the silkscreen posters he was to make a year later, Krushenick also designed sets and costumes for a performance of Haydn’s comic opera Il Mondo della Luna (The Man in the Moon) at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in conjunction with his 1968 survey exhibition at the Walker Art Center. In 1971, he executed an exterior mural in Fort Worth, Tex., that sadly no longer survives.

Krushenick moved to a harder edged, more regimented geometry in the late ’60s, and virtually all of these compositions have banding that runs along and reiterates the rectangular borders of the canvas like an interior frame. In Outspan (1968), the yellow band seems to peel back from the lower right corner into the red interior like a curtain ruffle, revealing a section of white background and red banding underneath. The painting teases at creating trompe l’oeil space while remaining resolutely 2-D and abstract.

Subsequent works reveal rows of forms that look like white piano keys behind triangular or sharply serrated rows of chromatic stripes. When the openings to the apparent space behind are bordered by jagged bands in the manner of comic book explosions, I’m reminded of Norman Mailer’s line about a Muhammad Ali punch arriving like “a wrecking ball from outer space.” Only instead of Oscar Bonavena’s chin, the crash point is the picture plane.

As his forms became more irregular throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Krushenick usually notched a framing band into corners or along a side of his works. In the ’90s, the artist’s final decade, even his space grew freer, while his color retained its high-key, backlit artificiality. These paintings quote their own space, producing an effect that is both ironic and uncanny.

There are moments in the history of art when these two effects, usually bent on undoing each other, coincide. Krushenick’s paintings are akin to representation in the way they expose and tie their own perceptual operations to their thingness, but the works never become something we’re sure we know. Instead, they twist and crease, morph into tooth, claw and lightning bolt, and resolve back into abstract patterns in a prolonged instant-constantly open, like all signs, to both the rules and vagaries of interpretation.

STEPHEN WESTFALL is a New York-based painter who writes about art. See Contributors page.

Moshe Castel

Moshe Castel (1909-1992) often used Judaic symbolism in his artworks. He became famous for his work using basalt found in the black rock, which is indigenous to several areas of Israel. Many of his paintings are characterized by his creation of what appears to be an ancient form of writing. These symbols are painted in relief utilizing the black rock material. The strong reds, greens and blacks are indicative of his paintings. Castel is one of the most prominent Israeli artists, born in Jerusalem, descendant of a Sepharadic family who came to Israel during the days of the Spanish Expulsion. Studied art at Bezalel School of Arts and later in Paris where he became part of a circle of artists that included Picasso, Matisse, Sutin and Chagall. His works adorn the Israeli Presidential Mansion and the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem and are exhibited in some of the most important museums around the world. About The Artist: He lived in Paris from 1927 until 1940. There he used the backdrop of the street scenes for his subject matter and exhibited his paintings in the salons of Paris. On his return to Israel he became famous for his work using basalt found in the black rock, which is indigenous to several areas of Israel. Many of his paintings are characterized by his creation of what appears to be an ancient form of writing. These symbols are painted in relief utilizing the black rock material. His portraits and street scenes often possess a Spanish influence, probably based on his Castilian Sephardic heritage. The strong reds, greens and blacks are indicative of this phase of his paintings. From 1959 the artist spent his time between Paris, New York and Israel. He is also famous for his large murals, which can be found in many important edifices around the world. RÉSUMÉ: He is awarded in 1946 the Dizengoff Prize on behalf of the Tel-Aviv Municipality. In 1947, he initiates and founds, together with other painters and sculptors the group “New Horizons” (“Offakim Hadashim”).In 1959, he came to Paris, acquired a studio in Montparnasse where he spends a few months every year. He awarded prize “Premier do Estado” at the Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil. 1928/40 Participates in individual and group exhibitions in well known galleries and “salons” in Paris. 1955 Exhibition on the entire top floor of the Tel Aviv Museum. This was the first exhibition of abstract art in Israel Mural painting (9 x 4 m) for Hotel Accadia. Israel Mural painting for “El Al” offices at Rockefeller Center, New York. 1958 Mural glass painting “Face to the Future” (18×3.5 m) at the National Convention Center. Jerusalem. 1966 Executed a large basalt mural painting “Glory to Jerusalem” (7 x 3 m) for the Knesset (Israel Parliament) in Jerusalem. 1970/71 Executes two large basalt mural-paintings for the ceremonial hall of the Presidential Mansion in Jerusalem. “Wall of Glory to Jerusalem” and Golden Scroll”. 1984 “Portrait of an artists” Moshe Castel – Israel Film Service producer. 1984/85 Years of Creativity: 1924-1984 – Jubilee Exhibition at the Knesset the House of Parliament, in Jerusalem. 1989 Opening Exhibition of Beer-Sheva Museum of Israeli Art. 1987 Yurek Gallery, Ramat Hasharon Dania Art Gallery, Haifa Works in public collections
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • The Tate Gallery, London
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston-Texas
  • Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
  • Art Museum Berkeley University, California
  • Brandeis University, Boston
  • Smith College Museum, Northampton, Mass
  • Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
  • Wadsworth Athenaeum, Art Museum, Conn
  • The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • John Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • American Public Insurance Company, Des Moines
  • The Knesset House of Parliament, Jerusalem
  • The Brooklyn Museum of Art
  • Fairleigh Dickinson Fine Arts Museum, NJ
  • U.S. Steel, Pittsburg
  • Rehovot House of Sir Isaac and Lady Edith Wolfson at the Weizman Institute
  • Temple B’nai Shalom, Rockville Center, New York
  • Temple Emanu-El, Providence, Rhode Island
  • San Francisco Museum of Art
  • The Dropsie College, Philadelphia
  • Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
  • Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, New York
  • Museum of the Vatican, Rome
  • The presidential Mansion, Jerusalem
Additional Information: Born: 1909 Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel Died: 1992

Trevor Allen: Maker of striking, vivid prints

The printmaker Trevor Allen claimed that there were two major influences upon his work: traditional Japanese printmakers like Kunisada and Utamaro, and the childhood world of the Dandy and Beano and Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin. What the images in both prints and comics have in common is a strong outer line and vivid areas of colour. From this improbable combination Allen produced during his career a great number of intelligent, well-made, and extremely striking works of art.

Allen was born in Portsmouth in 1939, as Trevor Abbott. His mother left his father, a seaman, and remarried. He adopted his stepfather’s surname, Allen, and only became close to his paternal relations late in life, changing his name to Trevor Allen Abbott a few years before his death. The new family moved several times before coming to London, where Allen was sent to the junior school of art in Camberwell: he claimed afterwards that all he had picked up from the school was a knowledge of old roses and some art history.

After national service in the Royal Anglian Regiment – spent partly in Libya – he studied from 1960 to 1964 at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. During these years he worked with Michael Rothenstein at his studio in Great Bardfield, Essex, where there was a significant artistic community. He was also a studio printer with Editions Alecto, a pioneering print publisher which had been set up in a former factory for non-alcoholic communion wine in Kelso Place in Kensington. Later he worked with the Academician Philip Sutton on his Tahitian blocks.

In 1964 Allen set up a print studio for himself in Balham. By now he had begun teaching at various colleges of art, including Brighton, Ravensbourne in Kent, Bradford and Ipswich, but from 1971 onwards taught full-time at Goldsmiths College in south London. After a year-long sabbatical from 1985 to 1986, during which he made work for a one-man exhibition at the Thumb Gallery, he resumed teaching part-time until his retirement in 1996. Allen was a fine teacher, able to bring out students’ individuality and help them with their original ideas.

Allen wrote of his own work: “Relief printing is the best means I have found to express my ideas.” He enjoyed the processes of the development of a print, and most of all the cutting of the block and the final colour printing. During his classes he carried out experiments with his students in caustic soda etching onto linoleum. His imagery was highly varied and semi-abstract; his late, experimental screen-prints of flowers – so inspired by the clarity of Japanese print and childhood books – are perhaps his most beautiful.

Allen had several one-man exhibitions: at the London Graphic Arts Associates in Bond Street in London and the Serpentine Gallery in London (1969); the Thumb Gallery (1979, 1982, 1986); Fakenham Arts Festival and Belstead House, Ipswich (1991). The many group exhibitions in which he participated included the Print Biennales at Fredrikstad in Norway and Krakow in Poland; the International Print Exhibition in Milan; the Brighton Festival; the ICA Gallery; and an exhibition, Three Decades of Artists from the London Art Schools, at the Royal Academy.

Some very mildly risqué etchings sent to the US were briefly impounded by the authorities because they had the misfortune to travel at the same time as some more shocking pictures by John Lennon. Examples of Allen’s work can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, Sheffield City Art Gallery, Northampton Art Gallery and Goldsmiths College, as well as in a number of education authorities. In 1965 Allen was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. He also contributed to a book, The Complete Printmaker, and to a BBC series Artists in Print in 1981.

Allen spent hours drawing every day. In contrast to his deeply felt, vivid prints, into which he seemed to pour his all sensitivity, he was a moody and intensely shy and private man, who could, as his wife once put it, “get lost if he turned around”. On his retirement he and his wife moved from Suffolk to Somerset.

Simon Fenwick


Education Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts.

Assisted Michael Rothenstein in an experimental printmaking course at Ipswich School of Art. Invited to start and develop relief printing at Brighton College of Art. Lecturer at Brighton College of Art and Ravensbourne Colleges of art and Camberwell and Brighton 1960-65 
Awards National Diploma of Design, UK


Collections Numerous private and public collections mainly in UK and USA

Additional Information:

Born: 1939
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: 2008



(Guillaume van Beverloo) attended the School of Fine Arts, Amsterdam, and later studied printmaking with the noted S.W. Hayter in Paris in 1953.

Corneille was the founding member of CoBrA, participating in all aspects of the movement. Artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam came together to form CoBrA in Amsterdam in the late 1940’s.

Throughout the 1950’s, he traveled and exhibited in Europe, Tunisia, South America and the Antilles. He first came to New York in 1958 having two years earlier won First Honorable Mention Award at the Carnegie Institute.

In the United States, he is acclaimed for his spirited and imaginative works. Corneille has the ability to pack his paintings with form and content while not sacrificing any of the virtues of abstractionism. He has been linked to Klee’s idea of finding a single formula to comprise man, beast, plants, earth, fire, water and air. His works include certain recurring symbolic forms, which have resulted from his exotic foreign travel.

Among the many awards and prizes he has won is the Guggenheim Award for Painting in 1959. His works are in the collections of museums on each of the world’s five continents. Since his first solo show in 1946, he has enjoyed more than 190 one-man shows and four museum retrospectives, most notably at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1966.


He is co-founder of the Dutch Experimental Group which published the magazine, “Reflex”, and is co-founder of COBRA with Karl Appel.

Education: 1940-43 Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; 1948-50 studies in Danmark,Sweden, North Africa;1953 Studies etching with S.W. Hayter in Paris:1954-55 studies ceramics with Mazzotti, in Albisola Mare; 1958 first visit to the U.S.A.

Exhibitions: Numerous one man shows and group exhibitions world wide, including a retrospective at Stadelijk Museum, Amsterdam.



Additional Information:

Born: 1922
Birthplace: Leige, Belgium , (of Dutch parents)


The Art of Romare Bearden



  • Museum of Modem Art, New York, NY
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA


  • 1940 Addison Bates, 1st solo show, New York. NY
  • 1965-66 Corcoran Gallery, 1st solo museum show, Washington, D.C.
  • 1971 Museum of Modern Art, “Romare Bearden, 1940-1970: The Prevalence of Ritual,” mid-career retrospective, NYC
  • 1980 “Romare Bearden: 1970 –1980” Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC 1992-94 “A Graphic Odyssey: Romare Bearden as Printmaker,” traveling retrospective,’ including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA
  • 2003 September 14, – 2004 January 4, National Gallery of Art,
  • 2004 February 7 – May 16, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,
  • 2004 June 20 – September 12, Dallas Museum of Art,
  • 2004 October 14, -2005 January 9, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York,
  • 2005 January 29 – April 24, 2005 High Museum of Art, Atlanta,

The Art of Romare Bearden, the most comprehensive retrospective ever assembled of the large and diverse body of work by one of America’s preeminent 20th-century artists, will be presented bythe National Gallery of Art in its East Building, September 14, 2003 – January 4, 2004.

Approximately 130 works–paintings; drawings and watercolors; monotypes and edition prints; collages of diversematerials, including fabrics; photographs; wood sculpture; and designs for record albums, costumes and stage sets, and book illustrations–will explore the complexity and scope of the artist’s evolution and will feature many rarely exhibited and/or never before reproduced works from private collections.

Organized by the National Gallery of Art, the exhibition will also be seen with slight variation at theSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, February 7 May 16, 2004; the Dallas Museum of Art, June 20 – September 12, 2004; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 14, 2004 – January 9, 2005; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, January 29, 2005 – April 24, 2005.

Additional Information:

Born: 1912
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina
Died: 1989


Gallery Talk: Walasse Ting’s Today is Very Very Hot

Virginia Chiang, Junior Specialist in Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art, discusses Walasse Ting’s Today is Very Very Hot <<click here >>


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Walasse Ting in studio

Walasse Ting Dies at the age of 80

Walasse Ting has passed away at the age of 80 Walasse Ting in studio

AMSTERDAM, May 19, 2010 last Monday May 17. Ting died in New York after he was moved from the Netherlands two weeks ago. Ting suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2002 in his home in Amsterdam, the town where he lived since 1985. His most popular theme was the female nude surrounded by lush flowers and animals, painted in his typical way. Brilliance and vitality characterizes Ting’s painted women, flowers and animals. Ting came to prominence in the 60s along with pop giants like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann.

The art scene in New York was buzzing in the 60s; the Abstract Expressionist period was at its absolute peak while the Pop Art movement was born. Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann became Ting’s close friends. Roy Lichtenstein lived next door to Ting. It is in this exciting era that Ting together with the artist Sam Francis developed the idea to publish a book with 68 original colored lithographs, a book that would reflect the various artistic currents of the time. This ambitious and unique plan was realized in 1964; One Cent life was published in an edition of 2000 copies. Colored lithographs by Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, Asger Jorn, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Paul Riopelle, James Rosenquist, Bram van Velde, Walasse Ting and other artist made this publication a big success.

One Cent life became the proclamation of a new generation of painters and is now a reference in the history of modern art.

Ting’s painting career was honored by numerous prices and shows. His works are in the permanent collections including The Guggenheim Museum and MoMa in New York, The Chicago Art Institute, The Tate Gallery, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Hong Kong Museum of Art, among others.

A great friend will be missed. Thank you for everything Walasse.

Nico Delaive, Amsterdam