The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, August 30, 2014


Frank Lloyd Gallery exhibits a series of paintings by Craig Kauffman made in 1989
Craig Kauffman, N.B. #19 (Four Kubo), 1989. Acrylic on silk 80 x 54 in. Image courtesy of The Craig Kauffman Estate.
SANTA MONICA, CA.- A rhythmic, wandering line has been present in Craig Kauffman’s paintings since the 1950s. Based in his experiments with skipping, dotted lines made with ink on paper, the line in those paintings displayed a loose, calligraphic hand that seems to define form, yet also describe a suspended space. In the Numbers paintings from 1989, Kauffman employed that line again to make numerals, boldly drawn in paint and hovering over a colored ground of imagery.

In the third exhibition to be drawn from the Estate of Craig Kauffman (1932-2010), the Frank Lloyd Gallery presents a series of paintings by Kauffman made in 1989. Kauffman’s interest in unorthodox application of paint and his love of the physicality of painting are accompanied by a brilliant color sense. Kauffman considered these works, which became known as the Numbers, to be a continuation of his use of calligraphic line, and an integration of sensuous color with architectural form. The paintings demonstrate a masterful range of painting’s language: dark versus light, the organic and architectural, and luminosity with density.

The large-scale paintings—some as tall as ten feet—were made following Kauffman’s first move to the Philippines. A rich landscape and powerful native forms from his new-found home are interwoven with the layers of numbers. Images of volcanos, ethnic figurative sculpture (Santos) and architecture (Four Kobos) are included in the backgrounds of the works. With these allusions to elements from his new environment, as well as his use of the bifurcated canvas, Kauffman again made use of his broken, skipping line. As biographer Hunter Drohojowska-Philp has written, “Most are divided vertically, like Asian scrolls, and painted in two contrasting colors such as white and red. The outlines of orchids, volcanos or houses with pitched roofs are repeated like a fabric pattern while the thin, curling numbers are overlaid. The iconography is drawn from his exposure to Philippine culture.”

Kauffman retained the unusual line from his early drawings. In an essay for Craig Kauffman drawing retrospective in 2008, curator Jay Belloli wrote:

In these linear works on paper, Kauffman began an approach to drawing that he has employed more and more frequently over the years. At the time, the top of a bottle of Pelikan ink had a rubber squeeze attachment similar to an eye dropper, so an artist could draw up small quantities of ink and put them in a bowl or shallow tray for easier use. Kauffman used the squeeze attachment directly as a drawing tool. The line that resulted was uneven, sometimes broken, and it revealed the direct and somewhat uncontrolled way in which it was made. This approach to ink drawing was like a Western means of creating some of the spontaneity associated with Asian calligraphy.

The vertical composition of the Numbers paintings can also be strongly associated with Asian calligraphy. This clear structure of marking from top to bottom, and the reference to the format of a scroll, belies the artist’s life-long fascination with the arts of Japan, China and Southeast Asia. Indeed, his move to the Philippines provided him with easy access to Taiwan and Hong Kong, and his viewing of landscape paintings made with ink was made possible. “Japanese calligraphy is organized in columns and rows,” Belloli wrote, “and Japanese painting as one or several simple recognizable elements.” The format of the Numbers paintings not only recalls the influence of Asian painting, but also provides an expansive view of pictorial space, which Kauffman skillfully divides into a space for a specific purpose: a combination of linear and architectural form.

Architecture was one of the artist’s passions since his teenage years. Kauffman was highly influenced by reading Kindergarten Chats, by Louis Sullivan and A New Vision, from Material to Architecture, by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. These books lay out the foundations of modern art. Intended to inform readers about the elements of Bauhaus design, the text by Moholy-Nagy merges theory, art and design. The influence on Kauffman, and on his desire to create a new way of seeing the world through art, was profound.

Kauffman’s architectural elements in the Numbers paintings also reflect his own practical experience of building. In the later decades of his life, Kauffman designed several homes, including four in the Philippines and one in the Central California town of Arroyo Grande. His eye and hand were naturally drawn to architecture, a profession he considered when he first entered college at the University of Southern California. The Numbers paintings contain some of the simple architecture of the Philippines, known as Kubo bamboo houses.

The paintings present a merging of all of these elements: architecture, calligraphy, and painting. They are held together by the network of lines, executed in an architect’s italic block numbers. But the unity is also achieved by Kauffman’s extraordinary ability with brilliant color combinations—from the rich reddish column on the left to the subtle whites and greys on the right, or the overlays of red and green.

These eight paintings were not shown in Los Angeles, although some were included in the large survey of Los Angeles painting, Abstraction, mounted by the Nagoya City Art Museum in 1990.

That Nagoya exhibit included the work of Kauffman, Sam Francis, John Altoon, John McLaughlin and Ed Moses. The eight major paintings in the current show are accompanied by five works on paper.

--Frank Lloyd



Today's News

April 28, 2012

First major exhibition in Germany focusing on El Greco's paintings opens in Dusseldorf

Director of the E.G. Buehrle foundation says Cezanne damaged in heist can be restored

Christie's to offer a selection of works by an American watercolor master, Stephen Scott Young

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston celebrates Alex Katz’s 60-year career with exhibition

New, large-scale works by Cindy Sherman on view at Metro Pictures in New York

Solo exhibition of work by Jenny Holzer opens at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

El niño azul: Goya and Spanish painting in the Louvre presented as part of DNP Museum Lab project

One of last Louis Armstrong trumpet records now to be released to the public for the first time

Art Institute of Chicago acquires "Harlem U.S.A." photo series by Dawoud Bey

Space shuttle Enterprise arrives in New York City; crowds watch with joy and excitement

Romanian artist Victor Man's "The White Shadow of His Talent" opens at Blum & Poe

Frank Lloyd Gallery exhibits a series of paintings by Craig Kauffman made in 1989

Spring Show NYC to transform Park Avenue Armory into veritable museum of fine paintings

Michael Sailstorfer, winner of Vattenfall Contemporary 2012 Prize, exhibits at Berlinische Galerie

Josef Albers, Mapplethorpes to lead Grogan auction

Lynn Chadwick: The Complete Candelabras 1953-1996 on view at the Willer Gallery

Aimee Chang introduced as BAM/PFA's Director of Engagement

Stik's brilliantly produced new studio work on view at Imitate Modern

Valencian Institute for Modern Art presents an exhibition of works by José Saborit

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

2.- First major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy opens at LACMA

3.- Carlo Mollino's idealized vision of the female form in new book published by Damiani/Crump

4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site