Here is a prize for the aficionado of the first West Coast-based art movement that caught the national attention, the San aFrancisco Bay Area Figurative school. The lithograph on paper (9" by 11" inside the mat opening, 16 3/4" by 18 1/4" as framed) is titled at lower left "The Room", numbered there 26/29, and signed at lower right and dated there '60. At lower left is the blind stamp of Tamarind Workshop. WILLIAM THEOPHILUS BROWN (1919-2012), who passed away in his nineties, was born in Moline, Illinois. Descended from a line of intellectuals (his great grandfather was friends with Emerson and Thoreau, according to an online biography), the young Brown attended Yale. For some years the young artist moved between New York and Paris. At mid century in Paris, he met the likes of Picasso, Braque, Giacometti, Balthus, and in New York he counted Mark Tobey, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston as friends. He received art instruction in both New York and Paris, (there, a student of Amedee Ozenfant). By 1952, he joined David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, James Weeks, Elmer Bischoff, and Nathan Oliveira at the University of California, Berkeley, where, weary of the Abstract Expressionism of the New York School, he was impressed by the California group's re-introduction of the human form into art. Along with life partner, the artist Paul Wonner, he found himself in Santa Monica in Southern California by the early 1960's. During the 1960's his work really came into its own, and the market has recognized his importance, with some paintings achieving $50,000 at auction. Brown and Wonner befriended notables in the creative fields. After Wonner's death in 1992, Brown continued to work, until the final years of his life. This is an outstanding print, dating to an early and important period in the artist's creative life. From a scan of the auction records, most paintings post-date the year 1960; there are few works from the 1950's. The print is in good condition; examined out of the frame, I note that is is NOT laid down---only hinged at top edge. There is even paper darkening under the mat---the portion visible is lighter than those margin areas. It appears from the pattern of the darkening that another mat preceded the present one, that mat not having had perpendicular corners. Ask for more images of the margin areas.
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