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Charles Eckart: For the Love of Paint


Charles Eckart: For the Love of Paint February 1 - March 1, 2020 Reception: Sunday, February 2, 4:00 to 6:00 pm Front Cover: Charles Eckart, The Red Maple Influence, 2018 (detail), oil on canvas, 44 x 34 in Back Cover: Charles Eckart, Cerinthian Blues, 2019 (detail), oil on canvas, 50 x 40 in

Direct inquiries to: Seager Gray Gallery 108 Throckmorton Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 415-384-8288 seagergray.com All rights reserved. Catalog can be purchased through the gallery for $20 plus handling and shipping. Email us at art@seagergray.com


Charles Eckart: For the Love of Paint

Creation is dominated by three absolutely different factors: First, nature, which works upon us by its laws; second, the artist, who creates a spiritual contact with nature and his materials; third, the medium of expression through which the artist translates his inner world.

- Hans Hofmann


Charles Eckart: For the Love of Paint This solo exhibition for Charles Eckart has been in the making for over three years, the date specifically chosen to coincide with his 85th birthday on February 2, 2020. It is a dual celebration – one of the artist’s birth and the other of a 60 year career dedicated to paintings that in his own words, “do not attempt to replicate, but to reflect the complexity and beauty of the natural world.” The title of the show, “For the Love of Paint,” speaks to Eckart’s devotion to the expressive powers of pure pigment as he incorporates layer upon layer of paint strokes in endlessly satisfying compositions. Nature is central to Eckart’s work. In 1946 at the end of the World War II, his mother married the General Manager of Yosemite Park and Curry Company, the Park’s primary concessionaire, and the 11 year old moved to Yosemite Valley to live. In the next 15 years, he inhabited a visual setting known for its breathtaking vistas. He began to carry a small watercolor kit to catch the scenery, preferring hands-on skill to a camera to record what he saw and felt. By 1951 Eckart had become seriously interested in painting. “There were no programs in art offered in my grammar school or high school at the time,” he noted, “so I sought close-up instruction from paintings hanging in the small Yosemite Museum, which then contained treasures by Thomas Hill, Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt and Chris Jorgensen. These were my first teachers.” Eckart’s formal arts education was received at the University of the Pacific and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles followed by a stint as an award winning Art Director at the prestigious advertising firm McCann Erickson. His early works were showcases for his exceptional abilities in drawing and painting – commuter drawings of his observations in the city and precise rendering of his San Francisco environment, but he became bored. Already lured by his fascination with the power of the pigment itself, he surrendered to a more interactive process, resulting in a series of winged figures rising out of amorphous backgrounds of color - the figures often already exhibiting the structure and depth created by applying paint upon paint in variations of color that became the signature characteristic of his painting. Eckart became friendly with Charles Campbell, often visiting him in his North Beach Gallery where he showed such greats as Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Nathan Oliveira, Hassell Smith, Elmer Bischoff, Christopher Brown and James Weeks. When prestigious art dealer Allan Stone included him in a New York exhibition called “New Talent,” Campbell was inspired to look more closely at the work and he offered him a place in the gallery, beginning what was to be a satisfying

Amber Bar

oil on canvas, 2018 36 x 28 in


22 year relationship. In 1985 Eckart, known to his friends as Chuck, moved to Point Reyes Station with his wife Alice. The change from urban influences to a quiet countryside brought a renewed interest in the surrounding landscape and led to another exploratory period. “I didn’t want to record nature as observed but preferred to glean its lessons to create purer paintings that parallel the complexity and beauty of the natural world,” he reflected. The landscape had become a gateway into the more metaphysical concerns that have always engaged him and led to the “Paintscape” series shown here. “These paintings are about paint (pigment) only and its power to stimulate the optic nerve,” explains Eckart, “It is a language. A nonliteral language.” Eckart has always loved the definition of painting by Pierre Bonnard referenced in the title of his 2016 exhibition, “Painting is the transcription of the adventures of the optic nerve.” His painting, “The Red Maple Influence,” for instance is inspired by the deep reds, blacks and paler rose tones found in the intensity of a red maple in full glory. He brought a leaf from the tree into his studio and studied the rich variations of color. In paintings like these, Eckart is concerned again, not with depiction, but with the more transcendental sensations, the awe and visual vibration that accompanies looking at something indefinably moving. The same is true for his painting “Cerinthian Blues,” inspired by the glorious hues of the Cerinthe (honeywort) plant that grows in his wife Alice’s garden. “In full bloom, the colors are astonishing,” remarked Eckart “the blue petals and purplish blooms attract hummingbirds, contributing to the movement and intensity of color.” At 85, Eckart is still at the height of his powers as evidenced by this extraordinary body of work. He has expanded the limits of what he can do with paint, engaging the viewers’ senses with rich pure generous applications of color - clean, dense and vibrant - using as much as 20 pounds of pigment in a single work. In his Point Reyes studio, he is surrounded by things that inspire him - books and drawings, pods and leaves and artworks traded with his artist friends. He takes meticulous care of the tools of his practice and takes nothing for granted. His deep respect for nature is matched only by his reverence for the creative process and devotion to his calling as an artist. We salute him and wish him the happiest of birthdays.

- Donna Seager, January, 2020

Cerinthian Blues oil on canvas, 2019 50 x 40 in


Floating Gash

oil on canvas, 2018 44 x 34 in


Flourish in the Brickyard

oil on canvas, 2018 44 x 34 in


High Noon

oil on canvas, 2017 50 x 40 in


Lavender Bar Deep oil on canvas, 2017 50 x 40 in


Strawberry Lemonade oil on canvas, 2019 65 x 45 in


Vanishing Bars

oil on canvas, 2019 50 x 40 in


Paintscape No. 39 oil on canvas, 2018 44 x 34 in


The Red Maple Influence oil on canvas, 2018 44 x 34 in


Paintscape No. 30 oil on canvas, 2017 36 x 28 in


Paintscape No. 32

oil on canvas, 2017 36 x 28 in


Striker

oil on canvas, 2018 36 x 28 in


Mercury

oil on canvas, 2019 30 x 24 in


Seeing in the Dark #4 oil on canvas, 2019 30 x 24 in


Paintscape No. 36 oil on canvas, 2019 18 x 14 in


Red over Green oil on canvas, 2019 18 x 14 in


Green over Lavender oil on canvas, 2018 18 x 14 in


Seeing in the Dark oil on canvas, 2018 18 x 14 in


Study on Board 2306 oil on board, 2013 13 x 10 in

Study on Board 2307 oil on board, 2014 13 x 10 in


Study on Board 2309 oil on board, 2019 13 x 10 in

Study on Board 2310 oil on board, 2017 13 x 10 in


Study on Board 2312 oil on board, 2015 13 x 10 in

Study on Board 2313 oil on board, 2014 13 x 10 in


Study on Board 2314 oil on board, 2019 12 x 8.5 in


Charles Eckart EDUCATION: 1976, 1973 1961

1968

1966

San Francisco Art Institute

Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, CA, B.A.

1957

Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, Paintings of the City

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS: 2015

Terra Cognita, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

2013

Summer Salon, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

2015

University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA,

Richmond Art Center, Richnond, CA: Asphalt

SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 2020 For the Love of Paint, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA, Catalog.

2012

2006

2012

Material Matters, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge, George

Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco

Figures in Abstract, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

Adventures of the Optic Nerve, Seager Gray Gallery,

2009

Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, A 46-Year

Nancy Stein, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA

Paintscapes, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco

Art, Santa Clara, CA

Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery, San Franciso

San Francisco, CA, Catalog

curated by Theodore James, Jr.

Gallery, San Anselmo, CA, curated by Donna Seager

Cover Paintings, Catalog

2001

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA:

1995

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA:

1992

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA:

1989-1980 Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA,

1990

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA:

Francisco, CA (other artists included: Balthus, Elmer

1988

Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco: Figurative

Diebenkorn, David Park, Hassel Smith, Wayne Thiebaud,

1984

Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco: Figurative

1993

1983

Allan Stone Gallery, New York: Figurative Paintings

2016 2015

Mill Valley, CA, Catalog.

Retrospective

2006

2011

2003

2012 2006 2005

2000

1999 1997

Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco

Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA: Focus Charles Eckart,

2003

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco: Ground

2003

Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA : Recent Work

Codex International Book Fair, Berkeley, CA

Inspired Ink: Printmakers of West Marin, curated by Bay Area Abstraction: A Current View, Triton Museum of Twenty-Five Treasures, Campbell Thiebaud Gallery, The Painterly Print, Monotypes in the Bay Area, CFA

Trillium Press, Michael Martin Galleries, San Francisco, Chestnut Street Stomp, A Charles Campbell Selection,

co-curated by Charles Strong, Wiegand Gallery, College of Notre Dame, Belmont, CA, March-April, 2001.

Twenty-Five Treasures, Campbell Thiebaud Gallery,

Abstracted Landscapes

2000

Abstracted Landscapes

1999-1990 Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA,

Abstracted Landscapes

1995

San Francisco, CA, Catalog

The Figure, Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San

Landscape Paintings

Paintings

Paintings

1982

Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco: Figurative

Paintings 1980

Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco: Figurative

1979

Falkirk Center for the Arts, San Rafael, CA: Figuative

Paintings

Paintings, Prints, and Drawings

Bischoff, Joan Brown, Willem deKooning, Richard

James Weeks, Paul Wonner)

Now and Again: Figure and Landscape, Art Museum of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz, CA

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS: Oakland Museum Achenbach Foundation Crocker Museum Richmond Art Center Triton Museum Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Yosemite Museum Community Hospital, Monterey Bolinas Museum Stanford Library of Special Collections SFMOMA Smithsonian Library of International


Profile for Seager Gray Gallery

Charles Eckart: For the Love of Paint  

Full color catalog of the solo exhibition by Charles Eckart on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

Charles Eckart: For the Love of Paint  

Full color catalog of the solo exhibition by Charles Eckart on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

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