Exposition Art Blog: October 2020

Charles Seliger


 “My paintings always begin with free improvisation. Then I become fascinated with how I can explore my first creative impulse and develop imagery, through the paint itself, associating shapes and experiences to enrich my work. I am not able to sketch out a painting in advance or to determine where I am headed. . .I begin with an unself-conscious approach, a subconscious, non-rational approach to the painting. But later, I feel that I use all of my knowledge, instinct, and technique to make the painting work, delineating the latent forms and images that I both feel and see.”— Charles Seliger
Charles Seliger (1926 -2009) was an American abstract expressionist painter. He was born in Manhattan June 3, 1926, and he died on 1 October 2009, in Westchester County, New York. Seliger was one of the original generation of Abstract expressionist painters connected with the New York School
He began his career in 1945 as one of the youngest artists to exhibit at The Art of This Century Gallery, and as the youngest artist associated with the Abstract expressionist movement.
Seliger passionately pursued this inner world of organic abstraction, celebrating the structural complexities of natural forms. Influenced by surrealist automatism (like many artists of his generation), he cultivated an eloquent style of abstraction that explored the dynamics of order and chaos animating the celestial, geographical, and biological realms. Attracted to the internal structures of natural objects and inspired by a range of literature in natural history, biology, and physics, Seliger paid homage to nature’s infinite variety in his abstractions. His paintings have been described as “microscopic views of the natural world,” and although the characterization is appropriate, his abstractions do not directly imitate nature so much as suggest its intrinsic structures. As he once explained: “I attempt through my imagination, to make visible the structure of matter…. I do not observe parts of nature under the microscope; I am not dissecting or analyzing. I have an emotional and intuitive awareness of nature.”


William M. Halsey - Abstract Expressionism Painter


 William M. Halsey (1915–1999) was an influential abstract artist in the American Southeast, particularly in his home state of South Carolina
"A native of Charleston, South Carolina, William Melton Halsey broke away from the conventions of most local painters to become a pioneer of modern art in the South. As a boy growing up during the heyday of Charleston’s early twentieth-century artistic renaissance, Halsey’s first art lessons were with one of that movement’s leaders, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner. Following two years at the University of South Carolina, Halsey pursued further artistic training at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. There, he studied traditional line drawing with Alexander Iacovleff and color theory with Karl Zerbe. In 1939, Halsey was awarded the institution’s highest honor, the James William Paige Fellowship, for study abroad. Originally scheduled to travel to Europe with his new wife, fellow artist Corrie McCallum, the onset of World War II necessitated a change of plans. The couple set sail for Mexico instead, an experience that ignited a lifelong passion for travel. In Mexico City, Halsey absorbed the culture, color, and texture of the country.
Halsey returned to the American South in 1941 and settled permanently in Charleston in 1945, convinced he “could be vastly more useful in [his] native state than any place else.” He touched countless students as a teacher at the Gibbes Art Gallery, the Charleston School of Art, and as the founder of the Studio Art Department at the College of Charleston. During his more than forty years as an educator and mentor, he was also represented by a gallery in New York City and exhibited his increasingly Abstract Expressionist paintings, collages, and sculpture throughout the country. Although Halsey departed from “the prevailing influence of the Old Charleston picturesque,” he credited his hometown as a source of inspiration: the decaying stucco buildings literally showed up in his work. He painted “furiously” on canvases built up with gesso, sand, marble dust, found objects, and fabric. Though he prized color above all else, he also appreciated the physical act of painting and often laid a picture flat on the ground in order to free his movements."(thejohnsoncollection.org)


Kengiro Azuma - Japanese Contemporary Art


 Kengiro Azuma (1926 - 2016 ) was a Japanese Italian sculptor, painter, and teacher. Azuma was born March 12, 1926 in Yamagata, Japan to a family of bronze artisans.When he was 17, Azuma joined the Imperial Japanese Navy as a Kamikaze pilot, but the war ended before the time came for him to sacrifice himself. World War II and the discovery of the emperor's humanity had a great impact on the Japanese people. For Azuma personally, it created a spiritual void that pushed him towards art.
From 1949 to 1953, Azuma studied sculpture at the University of Tokyo. In 1956 he moved to Italy after receiving a scholarship from the Italian government. Azuma studied at the Brera Academy in Milan where he was a student and eventually the art assistant of Marino Marini. In 1966, his work was exhibited as part of "The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture" at the MoMa in New York.Wikipedia



William Scharf - Abstract Expressionism


William Scharf (1927-2018 ) is a painter whose subject is color. Scharf, a late-generation Abstract Expressionist and who apprenticed in the studio of Mark Rothko, applies paint in translucent layers to achieve depth and luminosity. He creates groups of paintings around the theme of a single color, working in a variety of scales and using shapes both geometric and biomorphic. Series have been dedicated to blue, silver, and gold, but black and white appear with the most frequency. As he explains: “Very young children discover how dark marks on white paper or white chalk on black become adventures; explorations of a kind that could haunt and obsess the entire life of a painter.”