Gallery Selections of Important California Modernist Paintings and Sculpture –
Including Recent Acquisitions

December 13, 2008 – March 28, 2009

Public Reception:
Saturday, December 13, 2008,  6:00 p.m. – 9:00 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

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts is pleased to present Gallery Selections of Important California Modernist Paintings and Sculpture – Including Recent Acquisitions.  Our new exhibition features stunning and fresh artworks by Mabel Alvarez, Victor Arnautoff, Claude Buck, Francis de Erdely, Jeffrey Kirby, John Mottram, Koichi Nomiyama, Helen Clark Oldfield, Otis Oldfield, Edouard Vysekal, Bernard Zakheim, 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, mixed-media works, drawings and prints.

Koichi Nomiyama (1900 – 1984)
Self Portrait (Man Holding Mandolin)
Signed and dated “K. Nomiyama 1934” lower right
Oil on canvas
40.25 x 31.5 inches

Koichi Nomiyama was born in Japan in 1900. He immigrated to San Francisco in the 1920s where he studied at the California School of Fine Arts.  His works were widely exhibited but his artistic journey was cut short when he was interned during World War II. Nomiyama died in Japan in 1984. His 1934 Self Portrait is a major work that presents a contemplative young artist playing a mandolin, seated among brilliantly colored fabrics next to a vase of calla lilies -- perhaps the most emblematic flower of the age.  Self Portrait is a masterwork by the artist, and very representative of art of the Modernist period.  

Helen Clark Oldfield (1902 – 1981)
Sliced Melons
Signed “Helen Oldfield” lower left
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches

The exhibition also includes Helen Clark Oldfield’s Sliced Melons from 1939, one of her rare abstractions from the late 1930s.  Oldfield (1902 – 1981) departed from the representational works created by her husband and teacher, Otis Oldfield (1890 – 1969), and used color thematically to dissect and re-make objects from everyday life.  Sliced Melons is a good example of this experimentation, with its almost Cubist stylization and bold use of oranges and greens.

Both Northern and Southern California Modernists are well represented in this exhibition.  From Northern California we are pleased to present Victor Arnautoff’s 1934 Untitled (Woman in Yellow Fur), a look at the wealthy during the Great Depression, as well as fresh works by Emil Janel, Koichi Nomiyama, Helen Clark Oldfield, Otis Oldfield, George Post, Bernard Zakheim, and many others.  From the Southland we have Mabel Alvarez’s important 1922 portrait of a seated young woman entitled Carmen; a striking circa 1950 mixed-media work, Untitled (Unfair Punishment), by Francis de Erdely; a view of the Hollywood Hills from bygone days by early Los Angeles Modernist Edouard Vysekal; and many others.

The Gallery specializes in California and American 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.  

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts is open Tuesday - Saturday Noon to 6:00 p.m., and by appointment.
The Gallery is located at 9200 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 200, in Beverly Hills.  Phone: 310.273.8838 Fax: 310.273.8848

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