Important California Modernist Paintings and Sculpture
Recent Acquisitions

March 5, 2005 – May 28, 2005

Public Reception: March 5, 2005, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts
9200 West Olympic Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 273-8838, fax (310) 273-8848
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Gallery hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-6pm

(l.) Oldfield, Otis (1890 – 1969), “Bohemienne”, ca. 1924, signed “Otis Oldfield” lower right. oil on canvas, 65 x 45 inches.
(r.) Oldfield, Otis (1890 – 1969), “Woman in Black”, 1922, signed “Otis Oldfield” lower right, oil on board, 21 x 12.5 inches.

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts is proud to present its most recent acquisitions of works of art from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s by certain of California’s foremost Modernists.
Otis Oldfield, one of California’s pioneering Modernists, who studied in Paris for ten years through the early 1920s, is represented by two of his rare works from this period, including Bohemienne, a striking and near life-size depiction of a gypsy woman with intense piercing eyes, shocking hair and imbued with vibrant colors.   Also included is Oldfield’s Woman in Black, a depiction of his first wife, and a seminal connection between his earlier academic work and his later Modernist paintings.  Both of these works were brought back on a steam ship with him when he returned to San Francisco from France in 1924.

(l.) Buck, Claude (1890 – 1974), “The Jewel of the Oceans”, ca. 1940, signed “Claude Buck” lower left, oil on board, 20 x 24 inches.
(r.) Arnautoff, Victor (1896 – 1979), “The Felt Hat”, ca. 1935, signed “V. Arnautoff” lower right, oil on canvas, 26.25 x 20 inches.

An impressive still life by Claude Buck entitled The Jewel of the Oceans, surrealist in style and stunning -- created by an artist who vocally eschewed the Modernist ethic -- also graces this exhibition.  Victor Arnautoff’s The Felt Hat, also a still life, is a testament to life during the Great Depression, displaying the meager bread available for the evening meal.  

The exhibition also features several important portraits, including Mabel Alvarez’s Red Haired Boy from 1941, Claude Buck’s Portrait of a Young Man, Ca. 1940, and two of Robert Kennicott’s portraits, one of a young man at the beach and the other a young African American man in repose from 1939 entitled Negro Bather, a subject not commonly painted in the 1930s.  John Hubbard Rich’s 1936 Self Portrait, also in the exhibition, is contemplative as well as revealing in its exploration of the artist in his studio.

Also represented in the exhibition are Richard Ayer, with his brilliant Abstraction 1938, Conrad Buff, Tom Tyrone Comfort, Karoly Fulop, Leah Rinne Hamilton, John Langley Howard, Emil Janel, Axel Linus, Marion Randall Parsons, Philip Paval, Frede Vidar, and others.

The Gallery specializes in California Modernism of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and is one of the only galleries to undertake large-scale exhibitions featuring the important art and artists of the Modernist period in California.  

The Gallery is located at 9200 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 200, in Beverly Hills, at the southwest corner of Palm Drive, between Beverly Drive and Doheny.

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