CHARLES LITTLER: Selections from the Artist’s Estate

30 October – 23 December, 2009

On 30 October 2009 CHARLES LITTLER: Selections from the Artist’s Estate will open at ACME Fine Art, Boston. A reception from six to eight on Friday evening 30 October will mark the opening. The exhibition will be on view through 23 December.

ACME Fine Art’s first solo exhibition of the work of this talented 20th century modernist will feature a selection of fine examples of paintings and collages from early in Littler’s lengthy career, with work ranging in dates from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s. Cape Cod Landscape, circa 1952, an oil painting depicting Provincetown Harbor that Littler painted while in Provincetown to study with Hans Hofmann, will form the centerpiece of the exhibition. Other notable works include Red Dot Collage, circa 1958 which is a playful abstract pastel drawing accented by strips of paper collage, and punctuated by an adhesive red dot. Still Life, circa 1955, a mixed media painting in shades of gray and glossy black and white, demonstrates just how successfully Littler was able to integrate the concepts espoused by Hofmann into his own distinctive artistic expression.

Charles Littler studied at Alfred University in south central New York state, and at Hans Hofmann’s School of Art in both New York City, and in Provincetown Massachusetts. In the 1950s he was – along with James Gahagan and William Freed – one of the founding members of one of the early cooperative galleries in Manhattan called the James Gallery. In the late 1950s Littler migrated west to Arizona, where he accepted a teaching position at the University of Arizona. Shortly thereafter, Litttler and a small group of his colleagues collectively purchased an aging dude ranch to form a cooperative artists’ community which they named Rancho Linda Vista. Over time, the ranch established a group consciousness that Littler felt compelled to nurture, saying “My view of Rancho Linda Vista is that it’s a work-of-art, initiated by me and executed collaboratively by many members-past, present and future (including all of those who don’t even think of themselves as artists).” Since Littler’s death in 1991, his legacy of Rancho Linda Vista lives on, and is now populated by a younger generation of artists who continue to be inspired by Littler’s original vision.

ACME Fine Art’s CHARLES LITTLER: Selections from the Estate of the Artist will be on view at the gallery until 23 December 2009.

For further information about this exhibition or other gallery events, please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551, or via e-mail at info@acmefineart.com.

ACME Fine Art and Design is located in Boston’s Back Bay at 38 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. Gallery hours are 11:00am to 5:30pm Tuesday through Saturday.

ROBERT BEAUCHAMP: ANIMALIA

30 October – 23 December, 2009

On 30 October 2009 ROBERT BEAUCHAMP: ANIMALIA will open at ACME Fine Art, Boston. For ACME Fine Art’s second solo exhibition of the work of this art-historically significant painter, we have selected a group of twelve important canvasses and works on paper that were created between 1965 and 1990. The theme for the exhibition is Beauchamp’s interest in the animal kingdom in his work; hence, the title: ANIMALIA. A reception from six to eight on Friday evening (the 30th) will mark the opening. The exhibition will run through 23 December.

Robert Beauchamp (1923-1995) was a central figure in the Figurative Expressionist movement that emerged out of Abstract Expressionism in New York in the late 1950s and 1960s. As ANIMALIA will demonstrate, Beauchamp’s work – especially that from the “early” period- is filled with exquisitely drawn cavorting creatures – animal and human, real and otherworldly – that fully occupy the canvas in vivid technicolor, and stimulate the viewers’ intellect and imagination to the extreme.

The Figurative Fifties – an exhibition mounted by the Newport Harbor Art Museum in 1988 – was the seminal exhibition recognizing Figurative Expressionism and the important group of artists who were its practitioners. Along with Robert Beauchamp, curators Paul Schimmel and Judith Stein included Larry Rivers, Lester Johnson, George McNeil, Jan Müller, Grace Hartigan, Bob Thompson, and Fairfield Porter, among others, as the featured artists in the exhibition, and identified them as principal participants in the movement. In his essay that accompanied the exhibition catalogue, Carter Ratcliff quoted Irving Sandler saying that Robert Beauchamp “wanted to unveil the ‘aborigine’ hiding in the civilized self.” Ratcliff then goes on to add, “A brilliant ironist, Beauchamp twisted his recollections of Gauguin’s Tahiti and the German Expressionists’ Eden into images of remarkable delicacy. He played at primitivism the way other figure painters… played at abstraction…. Yet his art mixes authentically primitive feelings with an urban and at times almost arch refinement. He implies that selves are double, brutal and sophisticated, and there is a familiar doubleness in his conception of painting.”

Later in the exhibition catalogue, in her essay titled, Aspects of Figuration in New York, Judith Stein quoted Philip Pearlstein, Lois Dodd, and Sally Hazlet saying in a published conversation that “When you first come in it’s all Beauchamp, then you begin to discover the subject matter, then you see the influences… Picasso, Degas, Gauguin, Japanese, Klimt, Schiele, de Kooning, Mantegna, Egyptian Art. But it’s all Beauchamp.”

ACME Fine Art’s ROBERT BEAUCHAMP: ANIMALIA will be on view at the gallery until 23 December 2009.

For more information on Robert Beauchamp, including extensive lists of exhibitions of his work and of museums whose permanent collections contain artwork by him, please peruse this website.

For further information about this exhibition or other gallery events, please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551, or via e-mail at info@acmefineart.com.

ACME Fine Art and Design is located in Boston’s Back Bay at 38 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. Gallery hours are 11:00am to 5:30pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Artist Biography: Charles Hawthorne

Charles Webster Hawthorne
(1872-1930)

Charles Webster Hawthorne was an American portrait and genre painter and a noted teacher who founded the Cape Cod School of Art in 1899. He was born in Lodi, Illinois, and his parents returned to Maine, raising him in the state where Charles’ father was born. At age 18, he went to New York, working as an office-boy by day in a stained-glass factory and studying at night school and with Henry Siddons Mowbray and William Merritt Chase, and abroad in both the Netherlands and Italy. He studied painting under several notable artists at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. Among his teachers were Frank Vincent DuMond and George de Forest Brush. But Hawthorne declared that the most dominant influence in his career was William Merritt Chase, with whom he worked as both a pupil and assistant. Both men were naturally talented teachers and figurative painters who were drawn to rich color and the lusciousness of oil paint as a medium. Chase passed on a Munich tradition of tone values and tone painting, and Hawthorne learned all he could. While studying abroad in the Netherlands as Chase’s assistant, Hawthorne was influenced to start his own school of art. His winters were spent in Paris and New York City, his summers at Provincetown, Massachusetts, the site of his school. In addition to founding the Cape Cod School of Art, Hawthorne was also a founding member of the Provincetown Art Association established in 1914. While in Paris Hawthorne became a full member of the French Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1917.
The Cape Cod School of Art was the first outdoor summer school for figure painting and grew into one of the nation’s leading art schools. Under thirty years of Hawthorne’s guidance, the school attracted some of the most talented art instructors and students in the country including John Noble, Richard Miller, and Max Bohm. At his school, Hawthorne gave weekly criticisms and instructive talks, guiding his pupils and setting up ideals but never imposing his own technique or method.

Education
National Academy of Design
Art Students League
Shinnecock Summer School of art with W.M. Chase

Member:
National Academy of Design, Associate Member, National Academician
Salmagundi Club
Lotos Club
Artists Fund Society

Selected Exhibitions
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1900-31 (prize in 1915, 1923)
National Academy of Design, 1900-26 (prize in 1904, 1906, 1911, 1924, 1926)
SC, 1904
Carnegie Institute, 1908, 1925
Buenos Aires Expo, 1910
Brooklyn Art Association, 1912
Newport Art Association, 1912, 1928
Art Institute of Chicago, 1917, 1923
Concord Art Association, 1922, 1925
Philidelphia exposiion, 1923
Corcoran Gallery, 1908-30 (prize in 1923, 1926)

Selected Collections:
Museum of Modern Art
Syracuse Museum of Fine Art
Rhode Island School of Design
Worcester Art Museum
Buffalo Fine Arts Academy
Detroit Institute of Art
Chicago Art Institute
Peabody Institute, Baltimore
Herron Art Institute
Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art
Houston Museum of Fine Art
Cincinnati Museum
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Hackley Art Museum, Muskegon, Michigan
Dayton Art Institute, Ohio
New Britain Institute, Connecticut
Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Union League, Chicago
National Academy of Design
National Arts Club
Lotos Club
Town of Provincetown, MA
Denver Art Museum
University of Illinois, Champaign
Carnegie Institute
Mulvane Museum, Washburn College, Topeka, Kansas