" Painter, printmaker, teacher, author...these are but a few of the many hats CLINTON ADAMS wore. His legacy as one of the primary figures in the California art community of the 20th century is assured through the vast body of work he produced during his lifetime.
Clinton Adams began primarily as a painter; he also taught in the painting in the Studio Arts Department of UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles. Here he formed relationships with the great pioneers of California Modernism: Stanton Macdonald Wright, Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin and others. His early paintings, prints and drawings are evocative of cubism, with their focus on the architectonic structure of the composition. His later works, including acrylics and watercolors on linen and paper, have similar structural sensibilities, but embrace vibrant and translucent colors reminiscent of the sparkling California and Mediterranean climes that he favored.
During his tenure at UCLA, Clinton Adams was introduced to Los Angeles master printer, Lynton Kistler. This led to a collaboration between the two men that began, for Adams, a life-long love of printmaking and lithography. In his early prints, created with Kistler, Adams' architectural sensibilities were translated into the art created on the lithograph stone.
At Kistler's studio, Clinton Adams was introduced to another young artist with a love of lithography, June Wayne. A dozen years later - in 1960 - he joined her in the formation of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. Tamarind is credited with bringing renewed respect in the United States to the art on the stone. Tamarind, especially, was concerned not only with encouraging a pool of artists to explore their vision in this medium, but also with training a corps of master lithographers to collaborate in printing the complex compositions these artists were creating. In 1971, when the Tamarind Lithography Workshop moved to the University of New Mexico to become the Tamarind Institute, Adams became director.
Adams was even more than a talented artist, he was also a scholar. He contributed numerous articles to journals, such as Print Quarterly. He founded and served as editor for The Tamarind Papers. He authored books, including American Lithographers: 1900-1960: The Artists and their Printers; Crayonstone: The Life and Work of Bolton Brown With a Catalogue of His Lithographs and The Tamarind Book of Lithography: Art and Techniques, all considered to be basic references on the art of lithography.
The many facets of Clinton Adams' long and significant career are to be celebrated. Painter, printmaker, scholar, director, Clinton Adams affected and enhanced the landscape of contemporary art and art history. "
Gouache on heavy Arches 1985
22 x 28 3/4 inches (55.9 x 73.0cm)