Rex Slinkard

More Bay Area art news: a current show (11/9 – 2/26) at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, “The Legend of Rex Slinkard”. From the press release:

This exhibition of more than 60 works includes oil paintings, charcoal drawings, and pen-and-watercolor sketches that convey the breadth and strength of Slinkard’s short-lived artistic development.

A self-portrait from ca. 1914-15:

More from the release:

The Cantor Arts Center is the primary repository of paintings and sketches by the early 20th-century California artist Rex Slinkard (1887–1918), who died in the influenza epidemic of 1918 while he was serving in the military. During his brief life, Slinkard emerged from his roots as a California rancher to become a painter who helped influence the modernist bent of the emerging California art scene. He studied with Robert Henri in New York City, where he shared a studio with George Bellows and established personal contacts with well-known people in the worlds of visual and literary arts, before returning to Los Angeles, where he painted and taught.

Fellow artist Marsden Hartley described Slinkard as a “ranchman and poet-painter”. Slinkard’s style evolved over the years, from “Ashcan School”-influenced paintings through symbolist images of the California landscape (after serving as director of the Art Students League of Los Angeles from 1910 to 1913, he moved to his family’s ranch at Saugus, in the Tehachapi hills) and on from there. Here’s “Tehachapi” (ca. 1914):

And “Young Rivers” (ca. 1915-16), with a landscape based on irrigation ditches on the family ranch:

From his Art Students League days, an untitled male nude (Slinkard was apparently bisexual and was linked romantically to fellow L.A. artist Jack Stark), viewable on AZBlogX, here (it shows naughty bits, so I can’t post it on this blog).

Not someone you’re likely to have heard of, but Stanford is pretty much the Slinkard repository, so I thought I’d give you a taste of his work.

(Personal note: Slinkard died at about the same time, and from the same cause, as my maternal grandfather.)

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