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John Paul Jones
(1924-1999)

— Painter, printmaker, sculptor and teacher, John Paul Jones (1924-1999) had the good fortune to study with master printmaker Mauricio Lasansky at the University of Iowa in the early 1950s. National recognition ensued with his work included in major exhibitions and collections. He set up the Printmaking studio at UCLA in mid-50s and taught there until transferring to newly opened UC Irvine in 1969. He taught at UCI until he died.

A gentle, quiet and introspective philosopher, John Paul Jones’s imagery of the 1950s and ‘60s ‘spoke’ to the viewer. Elusive figures merged into atmospheric mists. Distant cityscapes emerged from wispy hazes. A mood pervades most of his paintings, drawings and prints of that early period.

However, after a hiatus into a rural retreat for about five years, he emerged, withdrawn from emotional pain, with a new visual vocabulary employing architectural elements.

These contrasting images illustrate the aesthetic distance he ‘traveled’.

JOHN PAUL JONES Head
JOHN PAUL JONES
Head

 

 

JOHN PAUL JONES Paradise Gate:Calfornia Gate
JOHN PAUL JONES
Paradise Gate:Calfornia Gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional images from both periods are available. Click on Image.


Romanoff 

Confucious!

Michael Romanoff, was a Hollywood restaurateur, con man, and actor born in Lithuania in 1890. Romanoff pretended to be Russian royalty, he passed himself off as “Prince Michael Dimitri Alexandrovich Obolensky-Romanoff”, nephew of Tsar Nicholas of Russia.

He is perhaps best known as the owner of Romanoff’s, a Beverly Hills restaurant popular with Hollywood stars in the 1940s and 1950s. From 1941 to 1962, Romanoff’s was located at 326 North Rodeo Drive, then at 140 South Rodeo Drive, and finally, in 1951, it moved to 240 South Rodeo Drive always in Beverly Hills.

Though he courted Hollywood celebrities like Bob Hope, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Mickey Rooney, Cary Grant and others who frequented his restaurant, Romanoff generally snubbed his clientele and preferred to lunch with his dogs. Romanoff’s became known for their chocolate soufflés, which were served in individual portions and Noodles Romanoff, which originally appeared at Romanoff’s, back in the mid-1950s.

Night and Day; Day and Night

KCET wrote of Romanoff’s, which used an elegant monogram consisting of a crown sitting over two capital letter ‘R’s back to back: “The décor was masculine and clubby with comfortable booths, the dance floor well waxed, the cigarette girls lovely, and the waiters well-trained and Jeeves-like.”

“No one has ever discovered the truth about me – not even myself!”

The restaurant closed its doors for good on New Year’s Eve in 1962.

The exterior of Romanoff’s can be seen in the 1967 Fox film, “A Guide for the Married Man”. Romanoff himself also plays the maitre’d in a sequence in the film in a studio recreation of the restaurant’s interior. Romanoff appeared in at least 20 other films and television shows playing either himself or acting in bit roles, such as a prince, maitre d’, nobleman, or some other type of sophisticated European gentleman.

 ZITO Romanoff
Romanoff
Lend & Lease

 

Romanoff died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, in 1971 aged 81.

 

 

 

 


WORKERS OF THE WORLD

EDWARD J. MUYBRIDGE Animal Locomotion: Blacksmiths at Anvil
EDWARD J. MUYBRIDGE
Animal Locomotion: Blacksmiths at Anvil

 

What is WORK?

 ZITO Romanoff
ZITO Romanoff
PHIL DIKE Fisherman
PHIL DIKE Fisherman

On the movie set might seem like fun, but on a fishing boat it’s physical labor and a matter of life. A writer at his desk seeking inspiration doesn’t LOOK like he is working, but he/she has the same needs as Mike Romanoff pulling patrons into his eponymous night club.

I empathize/understand the urges of Joyce Treiman, David P. Levine, John Langley Howard or Christopher Weigel – and many other artists from the 16th to the 21st centuries to create, produce their images in hopes of finding responses to their work, their art………., i.e. for ME and YOU; to buy their art, to enjoy their art and support their needs.

JOHN BALDWIN Homework
JOHN BALDWIN Homework
ROGER HERMAN Field Workers
ROGER HERMAN Field Workers
WILLIAM PAJAUD Hustler
WILLIAM PAJAUD Hustler

Click into another view of other workers by William Pajaud, Harry Sternberg, Robert Robathan, Henrietta Shore, Frank Romero, Max Pollak, Pablo O’Higgins, Moshe Gat, John Bernhardt, Isabel Bishop, Balint Feherkuty, Werner Drewes, David P. Levine, Max Liebermann, Elena Huerta, Louis Lozowick HERE…


JUNE WAYNE 1918 – 2011

JUNE WAYNE The Dreamers
The Dreamers

When JUNE WAYNE’ arrived in Los Angeles in the mid-1940s, her interests, imagination and intellectual seeking were stimulated by her social contacts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Technical Institute in Pasadena, an adjacent city to Los Angeles.

These intellectural explorations resulted in Wayne’s application of JPL and CalTech scientific studies of crystalline structures into some of her work of the late 1940s and early 1950s. See this in “The Dreamers”, an oil on canvas painting, “The Sanctified” and “The Bride, The Suitor and the Advocate” lithographs, where she uses hard-edge crystals to describe the sensuous curves of the body.

JUNE WAYNE The Bride
The Bride
JUNE WAYNE The Suitor
The Suitor
JUNE WAYNE The Advocate
The Advocate
On the Lithograph stone  as well as her painting on canvas, June Wayne is powerful.
Other images available in the “backroom”
Please Click on the Image for more information.

STANTON MACDONALD-WRIGHT

1890-1973

‘Privileged’ Stan Wright sought great heights through art at the Art Students League in Los Angeles – and then went to Paris at age 17; there he and Morgan Russell explored and pronounced ‘Synchromism’ in 1909/10 as an aesthetic philosophy of color perception – Modernism.

When the War dictated an exodus from Europe in 1916, he briefly joined his brother in New York City but, in 1919, returned to Los Angeles, rejoined the Art Students League and took a position of leadership. In 1923, Stanton Macdonald Wright organized a landmark exhibition: ”The Group of Independent Artists” uniting Los Angeles artists with his friends Thomas Hart Benton and Morgan Russell with Nick Brigante and other Californians for a path to Modernism.

STANTON MACDONALD-WRIGHT Portrait with Pipe
Portrait with Pipe

From the mid-1920s through the 1930s, he turned to subjective composition – figurative sketches, portraits, (note  Portrait with Pipe, c.1931) landscapes – combining cubistic and synchromist elements in his personal art and as director of the mural division within the Southern California WPA/FAP 1934 until its close in 1941.

That cubistic figuration is evident in Still Life with Chinese Lute
and Abstract Still Life, both of 1945.

 

STANTON MACDONALD-WRIGHT Still Life with Chinese Lute
Still Life with Chinese Lute
STANTON MACDONALD-WRIGHT Abstract Still Life
Abstract Still Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between 1942 and 1954 he was a professor at UCLA, but at every opportunity he traveled to Japan following his interests in Cubism, Zen Buddhism …and reaffirmed his earlier Synchromist color theories. He combined the light and landscape of southern California with that of Japan in his art, as seen in the Haiga Portfolio of color woodcuts created in Kyoto with master printer Clifford Karhu in 1966-67.

After Issa: Stony River rippling, lightning flickering from: Haiga Portfolio
After Issa: Stony River rippling, lightning flickering from: Haiga Portfolio

In Los Angeles, he also made lithographs with Lynton Kistler, as seen in ‘Battle of the Amazons’ of 1972 – just a year before his death.

 

STANTON MACDONALD WRIGHT was an intellectual image, an artist, an administrator, an art historian, a teacher and a leader within the Los Angeles modernist community and world art history.

 

 

Other images available in the “backroom”

Please Click on the Image for more information.

Eugene Berman

spent fruitful years of 1949/1952 in Hollywood, working in the movie industry AND at Lynton Kistler’s studio workshop. While designing backdrops and stage settings, he drew lithographs recreating Italy’s ancient buildings, often printing on varied colored paper to evoke atmospheric times of day and night.

EUGENE BERMAN Nocturnal Cathedral blue
Nocturnal Cathedral blue
EUGENE BERMAN Nocturnal Cathedral
Nocturnal Cathedral
EUGENE BERMAN Nocturnal Cathedral on white paper
Nocturnal Cathedral white
EUGENE BERMAN Pisan Fantasy
Pisan Fantasy
EUGENE BERMAN Pisan Fantasy
Pisan Fantasy blue
EUGENE BERMAN Pisan Fantasy yellow
Pisan Fantasy yellow
EUGENE BERMAN Pisan Fantasy green
Pisan Fantasy green
EUGENE BERMAN Appian Way
Appian Way
EUGENE BERMAN Appian Way
Appian Way white
EUGENE BERMAN Flaming Column
Flaming Column
EUGENE BERMAN-Verona
Verona
Please Click on the Image for more information.

JEAN CHARLOT 1898 – 1979

In the late 1920s, Jean Charlot printed a few lithographs with George Miller in New York. But, when Miller balked at working with color and multiple printing stones, Merle Armitage – impresario, connector – stepped in; he connected Jean Charlot with Lynton Kistler in Los Angeles!

Charlot made his first color lithograph with Kistler in 1930. This was a collaboration that lasted throughout their lives.

JEAN CHARLOT Little Seamstress
Little Seamstress
JEAN CHARLOT Kei Viti: Vaka tagi Derua (Musical Bamboo)
Kei Viti: Vaka tagi Derua (Musical Bamboo)
JEAN CHARLOT Bathers
Bathers
JEAN CHARLOT Woman Standing
Woman Standing
JEAN CHARLOT Fiesta Head Dress
Fiesta Head Dress
JEAN CHARLOT Indian Man
Indian Man
JEAN CHARLOT Dark Madonna
Dark Madonna
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AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

The America has not always been ‘Beautiful’; developing transportation and communications, educational outreach, country wide migration and financial strains were taking place. War loomed.. 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ..even today. Through art, we see through the artists’ eyes.

BETYE SAAR The Couple
BETYE SAAR The Couple
DAVID P. LEVINE Burned Out
DAVID P. LEVINE Burned Out
HERMAN KOFI BAILEY Girl Reading
HERMAN KOFI BAILEY Girl Reading
HERMAN KOFI BAILEY Homework
HERMAN KOFI BAILEY Homework
FRANK E. ROMERO The Closing of Whittier Blvd
FRANK E. ROMERO The Closing of Whittier Blvd

 

NICHOLAS P. BRIGANTE Peppertree - Elysian Park
NICHOLAS P. BRIGANTE
Peppertree – Elysian Park
DAVID P. LEVINE Subway Riders
DAVID P. LEVINE Subway Riders
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JOHN ALTOON
Los Angeles 1925 – 1969 Los Angeles

John Altoon’s imagery scandalized, delighted, mystified………which he relished with great satisfaction and glee!

After attending the Art Center College of Design, Chouinard Art Institute and Otis Art Institute, he moved to New York in 1950, which proved to be a catalyst for his creativity. While working as a commercial illustrator, he absorbed Absract Expressionism and the art ‘scene’.

In the 1960s, he returned to LA, revealing his exposure to AbEx and joined his pals Craig Kauffman, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha. in exhibiting his paintings at the Ferus Gallery. History!

…AND he also accepted June Wayne’s invitation to make a series of lithographs at her Tamarind Lithography Workshop. Yes! WOMEN/WOMAN was his focus – as you can see from this collection of individual Tamarind lithographs AND the full suite “About Women”.

JOHN ALTOON Untitled-T1330
Untitled-T1330
JOHN ALTOON Untitled - T.2183
Untitled – T.2183
JOHN ALTOON Untitled T.2180
Untitled T.2180
JOHN ALTOON About Women A
About Women A
JOHN ALTOON About Women D
About Women D
Please Click on the Image for more information.

Mexico 1930s

Between 1920 and 1940, Mexico experienced heightened political activities, as reflected in prints made at the Taller de Grafica Popular – TGP – the Workshop of the Peoples Graphics. We look through the eyes of those artists at the ‘local’ scenes.

ANGEL BRACHO War_Never_Again
ANGEL BRACHO War_Never_Again
LEOPOLDO MENDEZ Bandito
LEOPOLDO MENDEZ Bandito
MARIANNE/MARIANA YAMPOLSKY Two Sleeping Children
MARIANNE/MARIANA YAMPOLSKY Two Sleeping Children
Among the early members of the TGP were Leopoldo Mendez, Marianne Yampolsky, Angel Bracho and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS (Outstretched Hands)
DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS (Outstretched Hands)
DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS Outstretched Hands
DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS Outstretched Hands
Please Click on the Image for more information.

DAVID P. LEVINE (1910-2005)

DAVID P. LEVINE’s paintings show the Depression years of the mid-1930s in Pasadena/Los Angeles environs.

Left the University of Southern California in 1932 to , he study at the Los Angeles Art Center School of Design with Barse Miller and Fletcher Martin. Soon after he graduated from Art Center in 1936, he went to New York and painted “Subway Riders”; by 1937 he’d had enough of that heady scene and returned to Los Angeles! This work of the 1930s focused upon people and social commentary.

In 1940, Levine and his wife, Florence, traveled to Mexico where he painted and refined his print techniques. He also drew inspiration from the ‘Greats of Mexico’ – Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros.

The Levines returned to California and the ‘draft’ in 1941 at the outbreak of World War II. During the war, Levine worked as a technical artist for aircraft companies.

Among the many museums and galleries where Levine’s work has been exhibited are: The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Laguna Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; New Orleans Museum of Art; and the Museo de Monterrey, Mexico. In 1993, Yale University included Levine’s Earth to Earth, a watercolor, in their exhibition of South of the Border: Mexico in the American Imagination 1914-1947. The show traveled to: Yale University Art Gallery, Phoenix Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art and Museo de Monterrey, Mexico.

DAVID P. LEVINE Playyard (10th St. Roof Gardens)
Playyard (10th St. Roof Gardens)
DAVID P. LEVINE East L.A. Enclave
East L.A. Enclave
DAVID P. LEVINE The Factory Gate
The Factory Gate
DAVID P. LEVINE Skylights and Rooftops
Skylights and Rooftops
Please Click on the Image for more information.

PAUL LANDACRE
July 9 1893 – June 3 1963

An outstanding woodengraver in the United States, as acknowledged by Rockwell Kent and Lynd Ward. Landacre’s linocuts and wood engravings are celebrated for their technical virtuosity and mastery of design.

Landacre taught himself the art of printmaking on a Washington hand press, carving linoleum blocks and woodblocks for both wood engravings and woodcuts. In about 1928 he met Jake Zeitlin, antiquarian book dealer; Zeitlin mounted Landacre’s first significant solo exhibition in 1930. In 1935 and 1936 for local radio station KECA, Landacre illustrated monthly programs with woodengraved portraits of classical composers.

Elected a member of the National Academy in 1946, Landacre was honored in 1947 with a solo exhibition of his wood engravings at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

His prints, earned early and lasting critical recognition and prizes.

Please Click on the Image for more information.

EMERSON WOELFFER 1914-2003

Woelffer’s art career began at the Art Institute of Chicago School in 1933; he felt influences of the new Chicago Bauhaus under Moholy-Nagy,the WPA/FAP and Jazz. In 1954, Woelffer moved to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to work with renowned printer Laurence Barrett. Then he shifted to Los Angeles in 1960 to teach at the Chouinard Art Institute while also accepting fellowships at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1961 and 1970.

Woelffer liked spontaneity,surrealist automatism and primitivism, vigorous gestures, torn edges, simulated and real. He progressed steadily towards simplification.

EMERSON WOELFFER Lips
Lips
EMERSON WOELFFER Head
Head
EMERSON WOELFFER Two Figures
Two Figures
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Tina Modotti (Italy,1896-1942, Moscow)
Photographer, model and revolutionary political activist.

Born in Austria, she immigrated to the United States, at the age of 16 in 1909, to join her father in San Francisco. In 1923, Modotti moved to Mexico City with Edward Weston.In Mexico, Modotti found a community of the culturally and politically avant guard. She became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement, documenting the works of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera and others. All of these silverprints from her studio in Mexico City document these murals and identifies their schools, public centers and university locations.

TINA MODOTTI Jose Clemente Orozco – Drawing for lithograph
Jose Clemente Orozco – Drawing for lithograph
TINA MODOTTI Jose Clemente Orozco, St. Francis
Jose Clemente Orozco, St. Francis
Diego Rivera,Fresco-Agricultural Sch,Chapingo,MX (Detail)
Diego Rivera,Fresco-Agricultural Sch,Chapingo,MX (Detail)
TINA MODOTTI Diego Rivera, Miners vs Shepherds
Diego Rivera, Miners vs Shepherds
TINA MODOTTI Diego Rivera Fresco-Agricultural Sch, Chapingo, MX
Diego Rivera Fresco-Agricultural Sch, Chapingo, MX
TINA MODOTTI Diego Rivera Fresco-Agricultural School, Chapingo
Diego Rivera Fresco-Agricultural School, Chapingo
Please Click on the Image for more information.

 

STANTON MACDONALD WRIGHT infused the color woodblock images for his Haiga Portfolio with Japanese essence under the guidance of his master printer Clifford Karhu in Kyoto.

After Shiki: A train passes, how the smoke swirls round the young leaves
After Shiki: A train passes, how the smoke swirls round the young leaves
After Issa: Naked in the rain riding a naked horse
After Issa: Naked in the rain riding a naked horse
After Issa: Oh flying butterfly I feel myself a creature of dust
After Issa: Oh flying butterfly I feel myself a creature of dust
After Shiki: In the hand of the fire fly makes a cold brilliance
After Shiki: In the hand of the fire fly makes a cold brilliance
After Chiyoni: No matter what we wear, we are beautiful when moon viewing
After Chiyoni: No matter what we wear, we are beautiful when moon viewing
Haiga Portfolio #6-On a Journey ill,my dreams wander over the withered moor
Haiga Portfolio #6-On a Journey ill,my dreams wander over the withered moor
Haiga #7-The spring sea swelling and falling all day
Haiga #7-The spring sea swelling and falling all day
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