Gallery Selections of California Modernism
1920s, 1930s and 1940s

December 15, 2007 – March 15, 2008

Public Reception: December 15, 2007, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

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

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts is pleased to present Gallery Selections of California Modernism – 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.  Our new exhibition features stunning and fresh artworks by Victor Arnautoff, Karoly Fulop, John Haley, Peter Krasnow, Erle Loran, Helen Clark Oldfield, Otis Oldfield, Zygmund Sazevich, and many others.  The exhibition also features some of the Gallery’s favorite artworks by California’s foremost Modernists.  The exhibition includes oil paintings, watercolors, sculpture, drawings and prints.

(l.) Oldfield, Otis (1890 – 1969), Green Apples, 1940, signed “Otis Oldfield” lower right, oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches.
The Family Club Christmas Art Show, San Francisco, CA, 1942
Federation of Western Art, Los Angeles, CA, 1944
Lucien Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1947
Utah State Agricultural College, 1947

(r.) Oldfield, Helen Clark (1902 – 1981), Green Still Life, 1938, signed “Helen Oldfield” lower right, oil on canvas, 18 x 14 inches.

Otis Oldfield’s Green Apples from 1940 is of particular note due to the Artist’s masterful composition and use of colors evoking and transcending the still lifes of Cézanne.  Two years earlier Oldfield’s wife, Helen Clark Oldfield, created her Green Still Life -- a composition similar to Otis’s but using abstraction powerfully to communicate her new and differing approach to the still life.

(l.) Sazevich, Zygmund (1899 – 1968), Portrait of Victor Arnautoff, ca. 1930, signed “S. Sazevich” lower right, oil on canvas, 26 x 20 inches.
(r.) Haley, John (1905 – 1991), These Fine Acres, 1941 signed and dated “John Haley 41” lower right, gouache on paper, 16 x 21 inches.

The exhibition also includes a very rare work by the painter and sculptor Zygmund Sazevich, Portrait of Victor Arnautoff.  This Cubist portrait, circa 1930, features the Artist’s friend and fellow Russian émigré– Coit Tower muralist and Northern California Social Realist painter Victor Arnautoff – in a contemplative pose wearing a painter’s smock and red cravat. We also are pleased to present works by two of the founders of the Berkeley School of painting, John Haley and Erle Loran.  Haley’s 1941 These Fine Acres is an homage to the working man digging ditches in new real estate developments. Loran’s 1940 Red House depicts homes in a mountainous neighborhood, probably near Berkeley, and is awash in brilliant colors.

Some of the other renowned artists featured in this exhibition are Ruth Armer, Edward Biberman, Brents Carlton, Dorr Bothwell,  Ralph Chessé, Russell Cowles, John Emmett Gerrity, Nils Gren, Lucien Labaudt, Knud Merrild, Jacques Schnier, Ralph Stackpole, Stanton Macdonald Wright, and many 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.

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