Page 1

San Francisco to Taos

Members of the School of San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, who lived and worked in Taos NM Presented by

1335 Gusdorf RD . Suite i . Taos NM . 575.751.1262 . www.203FINEART.com


San Francisco to Taos Introduction: This selection of highly accomplished artists, who either attended and or taught at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, all afterwords chose to live and work in Taos, New Mexico. Their time together, for most of them, in San Francisco, culminated in 1950, a period many art critics would consider the peak of the Abstract Expressionist movement. All except for Charles Strong, who attend the CSFA starting in 1959, but was considered, according to Susan Landauer in her book, The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, one of the last artists to pick up the Abstract Expressionist torch. During 1950 at CSFA, both Cyfford Still and Mark Rothko were teaching alongside Edward Corbett, Clay Spohn, and outgoing teacher Richard Diebenkorn. Studying from this list of extraordinary artists and teachers, during this formidable time in American art history, were Lawrence Calcagno and Lilly Fenichel, who along with Corbett and Spohn are all considered to be a part of the early group of abstract painters know in this region as the Taos Moderns. They, along with Charles Strong, are a major part of a legacy of modern art in Taos. Whether this group of artists were all subsequently draw to Taos, New Mexico, from the San Francisco area, for like minded reasons, or they followed their fellow colleagues, students and friends is unknown. The purpose of this exhibit, showcasing these specific artists, is to explore the significant level of talent Taos has attracted. In this particular case all these artists are considered to be a part of the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism.


203 FINE ART Presents - Legends of Taos Series, 2017 “San Francisco To Taos” A group of highly accomplished artists from The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, who taught and or attended the California School of Fine Arts, afterwards choosing to live and work in Taos, New Mexico. Artists included: Lawrence Calcagno, Edward Corbett, Lilly Fenichel, Charles Strong and Clay Spohn. January 27th - March 5th, 2017 (open by appointment) Opening Reception: Saturday 5 to 7 pm, February 18th, 20


LAWRENCE CALCAGNO (1913-1993) Born in San Francisco (1913). After high school, traveled in Asia, working as merchant seaman. Served in U.S. Air Force (1943-46). Attended California School of Fine Arts; studied with Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko (1934, 1947-50). Lived and worked in France, Italy, and North Africa (1950-55): studied at Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris (1950-51); Istituto d'Atre Statale, Florence (1951-52); worked and studied independently in Paris (1953-55) and helped organize exhibition of American artists in Paris (1953). Visiting artist-in-residence, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (1955-56). Artist-in-residence, Albright Art School, Buffalo, N.Y.; traveled in Peru (1956-57). Visiting artist-in-residence, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1958-59). Taught part-time at New York University, New York City (1960-61). Traveled widely (1961-63). Visiting artist-in-residence, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (1965). Taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. (1965-68). Visiting artist-in­ residence, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii (1968). Summer residency, the Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos NM (1972). Purchase home in Taos (1975). Traveled and lectured in Russia on a U.S. Information Association cultural exchange grant (1988). Received National Endowment for the Arts grant (1989). Moved to New York (1990). Made last trip to Taos NM (1992). Died in State College, Pa. (1993). Selected One-Person Exhibitions Little Gallery, New Orleans (1945); Lucien Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco (1948, 1954); Studio Paul Facchetti, Paris (1955); Martha Jackson Gallery, New York City (1955, 1958, 1960; 1962, cat.); Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. (1956, cat.); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1959); Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City (1961); Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. (1965); Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. (1965); Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles (1966); Westmoreland County Museum of Art, Greensburg , Pa. (1967, cat.); Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii (1968, 1969); Ithaca College Museum, Ithaca, N.Y. (1970); Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1973-75 [traveling exhibition], cat.); Contemporary Art Center, Honolulu (1976); Mitchell Museum, Mount Vernon, IL. (1982-83, car.); Roanoke Museum of Fine Art, Roanoke, VA. (1984); Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York City (1987, 1992); Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. (1992). Included in a major traveling group exhibition (1997): San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (based on the publication of the same name, by published by the University of California Press)., at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach California, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Red Line Horizon, 59 x 70 inches, oil on canvas, 1966


Semaphored, 40 x 32 inches, oil on canvas, 1948


Taos IV, 28 x 40 inches, oil on canvas, 1972


EDWARD CORBETT (1919-1971) Born in Chicago, IL. (1919). Family settled in Bay Area (1934). Attended California School of Fine Arts (1936- 41). Served in Merchant Marine running arms; participated in Battle of the Coral Sea (1941-44). Lived and painted in New York City; studied collections at the Museum of Modern Art; joined Communist Party; met Ad Reinhardt (1944-45). Returned to San Francisco; joined American Abstract Artists (1946). Taught at California School of Fine Arts and University of California, Berkeley (1947-50). Lived with Robert McChesney, Hassel Smith, sculptor Mary Fuller, and poet Weldon Kees in Point Richmond, CA; began Black Paintings and resigned from California School of Fine Arts (1950). Visited Taos NM the summers of (1948-1950). Settled in Taos in (1951), following a managerial and aesthetic coup at CSFA, The same year Richard Diebenkorn move to Albuquerque to get his MFA, Corbett attended Louis Ribak's Taos Valley Art School, on the GI Bill, and later that year Received a Abraham Rosenberg Fellowship to work in the American Southwest. In the spring of 1952, Corbett was included in a group exhibition “15 Americans�, at the New York Museum of Modern Art, along with William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Bradley Tomlin and others. This was a major turning point in his career. Taught at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. (1953-63). Began Paintings for Puritans series (1955). Lived and painted principally in Washington, D.C. (1964-71). Taught at University of California, Santa Barbara (1967-68). Died in Provincetown, MA. (1971). Selected One-Person Exhibitions Pat Wall Gallery, Monterey, CA. (1946); La Galeria Escondida, Taos, NM. (1951); Borgenicht Gallery, New York City (1954, 1956, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965; 1967, cat.; 1968); Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University, New Orleans (1957); Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1959); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1961, cat.); Quay Gallery, San Francisco (1967); San Francisco Museum of Art (1969, cat.); University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park (1979, cat.); Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA. (1990, cat.). Included in a major traveling group exhibition (1997): San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (based on the publication of the same name, published by the University of California Press), at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach California, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Untitled, 24 x 20 inches, oil on canvas, c. 1963


LILLY FENICHEL (1927 - 2016) Born in Vienna, Austria. Her family fled Nazis to Great Britain (1939). Moved to Hollywood, CA. (1940). Attended Chouinard Art Institute , Los Angeles (1946-47). Studied at Los Angeles City College (1947- 48). Attended California School of Fine Arts (1950-52). Moved to New York City; shared studio with Harlan Jackson (1952). Painted in Taos, NM; worked with Clay Spohn (1959). Lived in Hollywood , CA. (1960-67). Established studio in Taos, NM. (1980- 84); began to work three-dimensionally (1983). Moved to Corrales, NM; established studio in Albuquerque; and studied woodworking and sculpture (1985). Returned to painting (1990). Selected One-Person Exhibitions Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA. (1968); Lutz-Bergerson Gallery, Taos, NM. (1980); Taylor Gallery, Taos, NM (1981); New Gallery, Taos, NM (1983); New Gallery, Houston (1987); Carlson Gallery, San Francisco (1990, cat.) Included in a major traveling group exhibition (1997): San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (based on the publication of the same name, by published by the University of California Press)., at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach California, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Que Linda, 36 x 36 inches, oil & wax on waferboard, 1998


Black Study 9, 15 x 20 inches, ink on board, 1966


Geometric Color Study 3, 15 x 20 inches, ink & acrylic on board, 1967


CHARLES STRONG (1938-2013) Born in Greeley, CO. (1938). Attended Coronado School of Art, San Diego (1957- 58). Studied at San Francisco Arc Institute with Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, Jack Jefferson , and Frank Lobdell (from 1959; M.F.A., 1963). Met Clyfford Still (1960). Studied at Skowhegan School of Art, Skowhegan, Maine, where he befriended Bischoff. Awarded Fulbright scholarship to England; met Hassel Smith (1963). Traveled through Europe: examined works by Blake, Goya, and Fra Angelico (1963- 64). Taught at San Francisco State College (1965-68). Began teaching at College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California. (1970); founded, and curated exhibitions for, College of Notre Dame Art Gallery, Belmont, California (1970-79). Taught at University of California, Berkeley (1979- 80). National Endowment for the Arts fellowship (1982). Founded Wiegand Gallery, College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California (1987). Co-founded Peter and Madeleine Martin Foundation for. the Creative Arcs, San Francisco, with Madeleine Marcin (1990). Moved to Taos NM (1991-2013). (2007) Co-curated Richard Diebenkorn in New Mexico, at the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos. Selected One-Person Exhibitions: Richmond Arc Center, Richmond, Calif. (1969); University of California, Santa Cruz (1972); Smith Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, CA. (1972, 1975); Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA. (1973); James Willis Gallery, San Francisco (1973, 1976); College of Notre Dame Arc Gallery, Belmont, CA. (1980, cat.; 1985); De Saissec Museum, Santa Clara, CA. (1985); San Jose Arc Museum, San Jose, CA. (1985); Gregory Ghent Gallery, San Francisco (1987); Iannecci-Lanzone Gallery, San Francisco (1988, cat.); Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, Calif. (1991, cat.); Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery, Davis, CA.. (1991, cat.); Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary's College of California, Moraga, CA.. (1991, cat.); Rancho de Talpa Gallery, Talpa, NM. (1992); completes studio near Ranchos de Taos, NM. (1996); Solo exhibition Jehanne, Bosnia, Ezra and Ishi (paintings and sculpture, New Directions Gallery, Exhibits monumental papier-mache sculpture, Jeanne d'Arc and Cervantes, Sculpture in the Park, Loveland, Colorado, The Early Work 1960-1966, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California, and a Major traveling group exhibition: San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach California, accompanied by the publication of the same name by Susan Landauer. Included in a major traveling group exhibition (1997): San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (based on the publication of the same name, by published by the University of California Press)., at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach California, and San

Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Untitled, 61 x 48.5 inches, oil on canvas, 1962


Harrison Street, 25.5 X 30.50 inches, mixed media on panel, 1963


Study for Rocky Mountain Quartet, 15.5 X 19.25, mixed media on panel, 1960


Wharf Road - Marin Verde, 47.5 X 31, oil on canvas, 1965


CLAY SPOHN (1898-1977) Born in San Francisco (1898); raised in Piedmont, Calif. Attended California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA. (19ro- 16). Studied at the California School of Fine Arts (1914, 1920-21). Majored in economics and studied art with Perham Nahl and Eugen Neuhaus at University of California, Berkeley (1919- 22). Studied landscape painting with Armin Hansen, Monterey, CA. (summer 1921). Studied with Guy Pene du Bois, George Luks, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Boardman Robinson at Art Students League, New York City, where he befriended Alexander Calder (1922- 24). Traveled in Italy and France; attended the Academie Moderne, Paris, run by Fernand Leger and Othon Friesz (studied with latter); met Surrealists; worked with Calder on kinetic sculpture, precursor of the mobile (1926-27). Returned to San Francisco (1927). Worked for Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project on murals: painted Montebello, CA, Post Office murals (1938) and Los Gatos Union High School mural (1939). Worked on decorations for first San Francisco Open Air Show (1941). Executed Fantastic War Machines and Guerragraphs (1941-42). Served as technical illustrator for the U.S. Navy (1942-44). Taught at California School of Fine Arts (1945-50). Created Museum of Unknown and Little-Known Objects (1949). Lived in New York City (1950-51). Lived in Taos, NM (1951- 57) . Taught at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass. (1958). Moved to New York City (fall 1958). Received one of the first Lanna Foundation Grants, directly from Patrick Lanna (1961-62), Patrick Lanna kept six works Spohn created during this time period. Taught at School of Visual Arts, New York City (1964-69). Lived in Taos (1969-71). Moved to New York City (1971). Died in New York City (1977). Selected One-Person Exhibitions San Francisco Art League and Art Center Gallery (1931); San Francisco Museum of Art (1942); Rotunda Gallery, City of Paris department store, San Francisco (1946); Stables Gallery, Taos, N.M. (1947); Arrium Orbis Corp., Santa Fe, N.M. (1971, cat.); The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA (1974, cat.) Included in a major traveling group exhibition (1997): San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (based on the publication of the same name, published by the University of California Press), at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach California, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


The Living Moment, 79 x 107 inches, oil on canvas, 1961


Ballet of the Elements, 20 x 28 inches, oil on masonite, 1952


Located south of downtown Taos NM. We are a destination location open by appointment, for a personalized art experience

1335 Gusdorf RD . Suite i . Taos NM . 575.751.1262 . www.203FINEART.com

San Francisco to Taos presented by 203 FINE ART  

A group of highly accomplished artists from The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, who taught and or attended the California Sc...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you