Installation view of Joan Brown’s first exhibition at SFMoMA
In the late 1950’s, the San Francisco Museum of Art (now San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) began a series of exhibitions under the heading of ‘The Arts of San Francisco.’ Occurring roughly every four years, the Summer of 1971 marked the fourth such undertaking.
Joan Brown: Then and Now
50 Years of Retrospectives
With the opening of Joan Brown at SFMoMA, the long over-due retrospective celebrating the work of the native San Franciscan, we were reminded of Joan’s last solo outing at the museum, just over fifty years ago. During her life and after, there have been several attempts to take a broader view of her work, across the many series’, mediums and periods that defined her. We take a look back at these exhibitions and how they’ve shaped our understanding of Brown and her work.
In Conversation: Sue Coe and Peter Kuper with John Carlin
Sue Coe sat down with long-time ally and collaborator Peter Kuper, artist and founder of the activist periodical World War 3. Their good friend John Carlin, who has long been a supporter of politically minded art, joined them for a wide-ranging conversation asking, what does it mean to be a political artist?
Allan Frumkin in his gallery at 152 East Superior Street
Chicago, c. 1952
In the winter of 1951, a young, aspiring art dealer traveled to Europe. With an eye to opening a gallery in his home city of Chicago, he familiarized himself with a generation of surrealist painters and sculptors, meeting an international cohort of artists in Paris, Rome and beyond.
Notes on a Fireplace
The paintings of Joanna Beall Westermann
In the summer of 1967, H. C. Westermann began work on a studio for his wife, the painter Joanna Beall Westermann. The couple had recently moved to rural Connecticut, where they were staying in a cottage on Joanna’s family property. Space was tight for two working artists, so building the studio was a priority.
Press Release for Summer Exhibition
Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, 1968
Group exhibitions have been a summer staple of the New York art scene for decades - an opportunity for lighter fare during the hottest days of the year.
Our Man in Switzerland
Amer Kobaslija in residence in Brig
For Amer Kobaslija, location is everything. A self described “stranger,” Amer has lived and worked around the world, from his native Bosnia, throughout Europe, the United States and Japan.
Letter from William T Wiley to H. C. Westermann
circa December 1966
In 1958, the sculptor Jeremy Anderson showed two of his students a catalogue of work by H. C. Westermann, whose sculpture Anderson was familiar through their shared dealer, Allan Frumkin. The experience was revelatory to the two young artists, Robert Hudson and William T. Wiley and would impact their careers in different ways.
Tour de Tribeca
Getting out and about in the neighborhood
With Spring at our front door, we’ve been getting out and about in the neighborhood, and there’s much to be seen.
Made at the Sandal Shop
Curator Liv Moe on Doug Biggert's boundless curiosity
If you spend time with Doug, he'll start taking pictures of you. It just happens.
It was just a thing he did because it was interesting to him and then it became a practice of his, especially after the Sandal Shop series, to just always have a camera. And if you look at all of the boxes and boxes of photos that has all over his house, he documents every single thing.
What A Wonderful World!
A conversation with Luis Cruz Azaceta and Bradley Sumrall
With a major survey of Luis Cruz Azaceta’s paintings, sculptures and drawings finally on view at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, we asked the exhibition’s curator Bradley Sumrall and Luis to tell us about how it all came together and the impact of seeing the breadth of a lifetime of work.
A Cuban State of Mind
George Adams on Discovering Juan Francisco Elso
"In 1991, while on a trip to the List Gallery at MIT to oversee the installation of an Arneson exhibition, I wandered into an adjacent gallery. On view was an astonishing body of work mostly made from tree branches, twine, dirt and paper. The work, fragile, so full of humanity and astonishingly original, captivated me. I asked the List’s curator Katy Kline the identity of the artist: Juan Francisco Elso..."
Flyer for the Fall-Winter season at the Candy Store Gallery
Folsom, CA, 1968
The 1968 season reads as a who’s who of Northern California art, with the addition of the two recent arrivals of Nutt and Nilsson.
Some Assembly Required
Tom Burckhardt and Alexi Worth in Conversation
On the occasion of his two-person exhibition at the gallery, Elmer Bischoff/Tom Burckhardt: A Dialogue, Tom sat down with fellow painter Alexi Worth to discuss the humor in Bischoff’s abstractions, "feeling figurative," and his Ikea Furniture Theory of Art.
Gregory Gillespie in the classroom with professor Nicholas Marsicano
Cooper Union, New York, 1960
Gregory Gillespie began at Cooper Union in 1954 - initially to study commercial art but the attraction of painting and fine arts eventually lead him to enroll as a full time student.
The Slant Step
A Brief History
Since its “discovery” in 1965, the Slant Step has been the subject of four exhibitions and has become the catalyst for the assembly of works in all media.
Talking to Amer Kobaslija about his adopted home state and finding inspiration during lockdown
We sat down with Amer Kobaslija on the occasion of his eighth exhibition at the gallery, In Passing, to discuss his adopted home state of Florida and how his current body of work came to fruition.
Spread from a pamphlet published by Maryan
Featuring stills from his film "Ecce Homo," 1975
In 1975, Maryan shot a black and white film with the help of Kenny Schneider, in his room at the Chelsea Hotel. Titled Ecce Homo - as he called a series of sketchbooks begun in 1971 - the film is a highly personal meditation on the “world of hatred and violence” he witnessed first hand.
Peter Saul's first solo exhibition in the United States
Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, IL, November 1961
Sixty years ago this month, Peter Saul’s debut exhibition of ten recent paintings (and some drawings) opened at the Allan Frumkin Gallery in Chicago, IL.
George Herms and the Counter-Culture of Assemblage
In 1962, while George Herms was living in what he referred to as “groove grove cabin isolated in 100 acres Malibu Hills,” the catalyst for a new body of work was the untimely death of his Packard automobile, which he ascribed to “so many dirt road hills.” The Packard, and its contents, then became the source material for a series of assemblages, among them this work, ‘Flag.’
Introducing... Cathy Lu
Our exhibition Shapeshifters includes ceramic sculptures by Cathy Lu, that explore themes of immigration, assimilation and cultural hybridity. We sat down with Cathy to discuss how she came to ceramic sculpture, and how she incorporates her personal heritage into her work.
Introducing... Terri Friedman
Terri Friedman makes intricate and tactile weavings, some of which will be included in our exhibition Shapeshifters, opening October 28th. We chatted with her ahead of the show, to learn about her background in sculpture, how she came to work with textiles, and her love of neon colors.
Introducing... Craig Calderwood
We are pleased to be showing paintings and drawings by San Francisco-based artist Craig Calderwood, as part of our exhibition "Shapeshifters" opening October 28th. In advance of the exhibition, Craig spoke to us about their use of textiles and other materials, influences from video game illustrations to PBS docu-series, and how "genderless-ness" manifests in their work.
Introducing... Cate White
Our upcoming group exhibition “Shapeshifters“ will include paintings by the California-based artist, Cate White, who we've so enjoyed getting to know. By way of introduction, Cate sat down with us to talk about how she found her way to painting, her YouTube show, “How Do You Paint,” and the “mystical visions” that inspire her work.
On H. C. Westermann
Exploring the man, the artist and his legacy
In conjunction with our current exhibition of works on paper by H. C. Westermann: Le Bandeur, we spoke to a range of people who knew Westermann in life or through his work, about who he was as a person, an artist and why his work continues to resonate, thirty years after his death at the age of 59.
Andrew Lenaghan painting on South 11th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, August 2002
Since the start of his career, Lenaghan has chosen to do most of his painting from life - and as his subject has long been the city of New York, his studio is the sidewalk.
An Enduring Legacy
George Adams on H. C. Westermann and his lasting influence
The gallery’s legacy going back to 1952 is inextricably linked to H. C. Westermann. There is no way to overstate his impact on the gallery both in terms of his art and his personality; both are equivalent.
525 West 26th Street in advance of construction in the Spring of 2005
When making the decision to move the gallery in 2005, it was both a simple and difficult choice. For decades its home had been on 57th Street, moving between three locations around the intersection of 57th and Fifth avenue since opening in New York in 1959.
A Short History of the Gallery
Preparing for our move has given us reason to look back through our archives at the gallery’s many decades in New York.
Luis Cruz Azaceta installing his sculpture, 'El Dictador'
Frumkin/Adams Gallery, New York, April 1988
A sudden and significant increase in studio space in the mid-1980s meant that Azaceta was not only able to paint on a much larger scale than before, but also allowed him to explore the themes of his paintings and drawings in three dimensions.
Jeremy Anderson: Truth in a Tangible Form
Though Jeremy Anderson is often placed in a lineage of avant-garde thought which can be traced back to the Cubism and Surrealism of a half-century prior, his own concept of sculpture as an art form went well beyond any physical limitations.
Robert Arneson as Santa Claus, circa 1975
Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, March 1976
Arneson began experimenting with himself as a subject in the early 1970s – by 1975 the artist in various guises and expressions had become a defining aspect of his career.
In the Studio with Katherine Sherwood
A year after her first exhibition at the gallery, with a pandemic in between, we spoke with Katherine Sherwood about her ongoing series of “Brain Flowers,” working in lockdown and what to expect from her in the coming year.
We are pleased to share our video series reflecting on the impact Joan Brown had as a person and an artist, both during her lifetime and after her death.
Curator Patterson Sims Visiting H. C. Westermann’s Studio
Brookfield Center, Connecticut, December 1976
Sims, the recently appointed curator of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art paid a visit to Westermann’s Connecticut studio in December of 1976 to look at new work.
Discovering the Self
George Adams reflects on organizing Joan Brown’s Memorial Exhibition
October 26, 2020
October 26, 2020, is the 30th anniversary of Joan Brown's death at age 52 in Prasanthinilayam, India, 1990. George Adams recounts organizing her memorial exhibition, which opened at the gallery in September of the following year.
Joan Brown's Handwritten Checklist of Drawings
Joan Brown’s handwritten checklist of drawings sent to Frumkin/Adams Gallery in March of 1990 for an exhibition in the fall of that year.
Back To School
Enrique Chagoya, Diane Edison, Amer Kobaslija and Andrew Lenaghan
With summer turning into fall, the “back to school” season is on us though under radically different circumstances than ever before. Last spring, those of our artists who are also full-time professors had to make the abrupt and difficult transition to online teaching.
Kija Lucas on 'Collections from Sundown'
We asked photographer Kija Lucas to share some insights on her collaborative process and specifically the work from her series, Collections from Sundown which are part of our current exhibition Documents.
Critic Ted Wolff Visiting the 1981 William T. Wiley Exhibition
Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York
In December of 1981, the gallery mounted its sixth exhibition of Wiley's work, including new paintings, drawings and sculpture completed since his first retrospective at the Walker Art Center a year prior.
Jack Beal: Finding "Form"
Though it is easy to remember Jack Beal solely for the role he played in re-affirming the figure as a subject of contemporary painting, a more complex side of his legacy is what lead him to the idealized, modeled affect of his best-known works.
'Contemporary Self-Portraits' in Two Parts
Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, 1982-83
An enduring focus of the gallery has long been self-portraits and indeed many of the artists who have shown here over the years, both regularly and occasionally, have experimented with the format if not made it a staple of their practice.
From Corinth to Saul
George Adams on the legacy of Allan Frumkin and value of drawings
"A side of the gallery that is perhaps not well known but no less central to the gallery’s history and reputation is drawings."
Kevin Frances on 'Superpositions'
For Documents, we invited Kevin Frances to create an installation in the side gallery, of the (totally impressive and detailed) scale models he uses as a basis for his photographs and prints.
Red Grooms' Sculpto-Picto-Rama
'The City of Chicago,' 1968
Grooms' wide-ranging activities coalesced in the late 60s with the formation of his production company, Ruckus Construction Co with his then-wife, Mimi Gross. One of the company's first major undertakings was an immersive, 25 foot square sculptural installation of the city of Chicago.
Home Improvements with Tony May
Tony recently took a break from construction on his latest endeavor to speak with us from his painting studio.
Jose Bedia's installations
Frumkin/Adams Gallery, New York, 1994
For his installations at the gallery, Jose Bedia would either work directly on the wall or large rolls of canvas, as he is here, and often with little to no preparatory drawings.
George Adams on getting to know Joan Brown
Most of the gallery’s relationships with our artists stretch back decades and, while their work is always paramount in our minds, it is often the personal experiences which stand out most. Here, George Adams recalls such moments with Joan Brown.
Elmer Bischoff, David Park and Hassel Smith at the San Francisco Museum of Art
San Francisco, California, Summer 1949
In the summer of 1949, Elmer Bischoff, David Park and Hassel Smith presented their recent paintings in an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art.
Amer Kobaslija on Documenting the 2011 Tsunami in Japan
One Hundred Views of Kesennuma
Following the 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan, Amer Kobaslija arranged to visit the town of Kesennuma in the Miyagi Prefecture, with the aim of chronicling the aftermath.
Online Viewing Room
We are pleased to present our first online viewing room, as part of the ADAA Member Viewing Rooms in collaboration with Artlogic.
Robert Arneson's Self Portraits in Bronze
In the last decades of his life, Robert Arneson began using bronze both for the versatility of the medium and its usefulness in public installations.
Andrew Lenaghan Presents...
When Andy told us he had just completed another sketchbook, we asked him to give us a virtual "tour". This book was started last summer and takes us through vacations, the school year, changing seasons and, in the final pages, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roy De Forest at the Gallery
George Adams Gallery, New York, December 2005
In the fall of 2005, after 45 years on 57th Street, the gallery moved to West 26th in Chelsea. One of the first exhibitions at the new location was of new paintings by Roy De Forest.
Tony May's Documentary Paintings
Tony May’s documentary paintings are precisely that: a record of the installations, projects and repairs he’s completed over the years.
Robert Arneson Visits the Pollock-Krasner House
Spring, East Hampton, New York, Fall 1991
In 1991, George Adams accompanied Robert Arneson and his wife, Sandra Shannonhouse on a visit to the Pollock-Krasner House, former home and studio of painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.
Elmer Bischoff and the Northern California Landscape
Painting from memory
Elmer Bischoff was born and raised in Oakland, California and he lived his entire life in the Bay Area. Its landscape is an inescapable force in his paintings.
From the studio of Amer Kobaslija
While isolating at home with his family, Amer Kobaslija has discovered inspiration in the experience, painting away in a self-described "fever state" expanding on his recent series of figures set in the Florida landscape and revisiting an old subject: his own studio.
A Tribute to the San Francisco Art Institute
Part IV: the 1970s
As SFAI passed its first centennial in 1971, the experimentation and innovation of years prior was increasingly a defining characteristic of the school.
The making of Peter Saul's history paintings
Chappaqua, New York, 1975
In 1975, Peter Saul relocated from California to Chappaqua, New York. This photo was taken during a studio visit soon after his move, while Peter was working on his version of Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware.
Enrique Chagoya Discusses Sheltering-In-Place on Square Cylinder
Shelter-in-Place Chronicles: Artists Speak
Square Cylinder reached out to artists and writers, to talk about life during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. As part of the series, Enrique Chagoya shares his thoughts while sheltering-in-place at home with his wife, artist Kara Maria.
A Tribute to the San Francisco Art Institute
Part III: the 1960s
In 1961, CSFA changed its name to the San Francisco Art Institute. Under this new identity, the school continued to evolve, expanding programming to include the multi-media and conceptual disciplines that were beginning to take form in the arts.
Diane Edison at her Studio
We recently checked in with Diane Edison who is adjusting to working from home in Athens, GA.
Arnaldo Roche-Rabell's Self-Portraits
Celebrating Earth Day
In celebration of Earth Day this year, we are reminded of the power of nature, as seen in the work of Arnaldo Roche Rabell from the early 1990s.
First Studio Visit with Luis Cruz Azaceta
Ridgewood, Queens, 1981
In the early 1980s, Luis Cruz Azaceta was living and working out of a small studio in Ridgewood, Queens. George Adams recalls his first time visiting Luis’ studio and the impression he made.
Andrew Lenaghan's New York
Painting across the five boroughs
Andrew Lenaghan’s work lends itself perfectly to today’s empty New York.
Enrique Chagoya's codices
Enrique Chagoya's codices are, in fact, books, in the tradition of ancient Mesoamerican texts. He employs the same amate paper and accordion format, read right to left, while updating the pictorial language with recognizable, contemporary images.
Jeremy Anderson's Topographical Map Drawings
While Jeremy Anderson found inspiration in the ancient civilizations and their artifacts, the map drawings he started in the 1960s laid out his personal mythologies.
A Tribute to the San Francisco Art Institute
Part II: the 1950s
As we continue to celebrate the history of the San Francisco Art Institute and its alumni, one of the school’s most enduring (and important) legacies has been the fostering of communities that extend beyond the classroom.
Amer Kobaslija's Studio Paintings
An artwork we've been thinking of recently is Amer Kobaslija's Painter's Floor with Chair and Ladder, 2005.
Excerpts from the journals of Gregory Gillespie
Northampton, Massachusetts, January 1995
Sometimes the best way to look at art is with the artist’s words in mind. For decades Gillespie kept a regular journal, filling it with his thoughts about life, painting and being an artist.
A Tribute to the San Francisco Art Institute
Part I: the 1940s
With the San Francisco Art Institute’s recent announcement that it may be forced to close, we wanted to take the opportunity over the next few weeks to highlight just how critical the Institute has been in shaping art in the Bay Area and beyond.
Robert Arneson and Jack Beal at the gallery
Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, 1979
Galleries are communities: this photo from our archives encapsulates that better than most.
Luis Cruz Azaceta Studio Tour
Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Here is the full video of our Online Studio Visit with Luis Cruz Azaceta! Azaceta gives us a tour of his “bunker” as he discusses the beginnings of his career in New York, his history with the gallery and his current exhibition.
Jack Beal Working from Nature
Oneonta, New York
Jack Beal’s relationship to Realism is rooted in his commitment to working from life.
Chris Ballantyne at his Studio
We checked in with Chris Ballantyne, who is away from his studio but hard at work nonetheless.
Tony May at his San Jose Studio
The T.Treehouse Project
Our first Online Studio Visit brings us to San Jose, California where Tony May shows us how to REALLY work from home.
Luis Cruz Azaceta
The AIDS Epidemic Series
As we are out of the gallery and unable to enjoy our current exhibition, another work by Luis Cruz Azaceta comes to mind.