Large acrylic on canvas contemporary painting, 56" by 48", unframed, titled on reverse "St. Sebastian", also dated 3/81 and signed there, by the well listed, widely-exhibited American artist, RUSS WARREN (1951-). The painting is striking, the figure shot full with arrows in a strange and surreal, magical landscape, mystery and symbolism and allegory surrounding the scene. Warren, still painting today in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been active for more than 40 years, his style changing and evolving over the decades, reflecting his interests and life experiences. There is a long Wikipedia entry, from which I have taken much information; I recommend that anyone viewing this item read that most interesting essay. Warren was born in Washington DC. While still in his teens he was studying with Earl Staley in Houston, the beginning of a long period spent in Texas, and, subsequently, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. Earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 1973, he went on to earn a Masters degree from the University of Texas San Antonio, writing a thesis on Regionalism. An early exhibition of his works in Texas suggested a Pop Art component, as well as folk art inspiration and autobiographical content that has continued throughout his career. The artist claimed to have been inspired by singer Bob Dylan during these formative years. By 1981 his reputation in the art world was rising dramatically, (**and this painting dates to that seminal year**), becoming a gallery artist represented by the prestigious Phyllis Kind Gallery of New York and Chicago. At this time Warren was included in the Whitney Museum Biennial of 1981, and by 1984, his work was shown at the Venice Biennale. During the first half of the 1980's, articles about the artist appeared regularly in national art magazines such as ARTnews, Artforum, Arts Magazine and Art in America. The artist taught at Davidson College in North Carolina for many years subsequently. In recent decades he has experimented with smaller scale works, including drawings, but has of late returned to large scale paintings. The artist himself admits to being heavily influenced by Picasso, Juan Gris, Goya, Velazquez, and Mexican folk art. His work is often described as "magic realism", featuring flattened figures, jagged shadows, horses, and "figures on horses juxtaposed in strange tableaux" as the article says. This painting bears a Christie's label, from when it was offered at Christie's East on May 13, 1988. In 1990, it was sold again at Butterfields in San Francisco. I acquired it recently, at a sale of possessions of a prominent Hollywood entertainment industry couple. The painting is in excellent condition. Due to the large size, shipping could be a challenge; contact me to discuss. See the net for more on the artist and his work.
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