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  • Gene Baro by David Hockney

Gene Baro by David Hockney

Petersburg Press



Sheet Size: 24 x 18 inches


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

This pencil drawing on paper features the storied curator and author Gene Baro, dressed to the nines in a suit and stylishly narrow tie.
Hockney is able to effortlessly balance the spontaneity of a sketch with the gravity of serious portraiture. Here, Baro’s hair vibrates in a delicate flourish of lines, while Hockney details the folds of his suit with a real sense of volume. Hockney pairs long, sure lines with soft hatching to define his subject’s facial features. Characteristically, the darkest marks and most detail are found in the face: you can feel Hockney’s hand exert decreasing pressure as his pencil travels down to the chair’s legs. Baro’s substantial hands, grasping the shin of his crossed leg, are defined by the most delicate of lines. His fingers, pressed together, exude a vulnerability echoed in Baro’s pensive, downcast gaze.

Gene Baro was born in New York City in 1924. The longtime director of the Corcoran gallery, he organized over 150 exhibitions during his lifetime, including the 1979 American pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the 33rd and 34th Corcoran Biennials in Washington, ”Thirty Years of American Printmaking” at the Brooklyn Museum, ”Trans-Atlantic Graphics” at the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. ”British Sculpture of the 60’s” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and a monumental Bicentennial exhibition -”America on Stage: 200 Years of the Performing Arts” – at the Kennedy Center in Washington in 1976. His solo shows included exhibitions for Hans Hofmann, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Jenkins, Anni Albers, David Hockney, Sol LeWitt, Richard Diebenkorn, Gene Davis, Peter Milton and Eve Arnold. Baro wrote five books, including Beat Poets (1954), Claes Oldenburg (1969), and Nevelson (1974), and was a widely published author of poems and short stories.

The New York Times described Baro in his 1982 obituary: “Genuinely unswayed by fashion and actively hostile to the propagation of second-hand notions of art, he saw it as his duty to offer the public a first-hand experience of the whole gamut of artistic activity without regard for market values or high-pressure promotion.”

Hockney has been an avid portraitist throughout his career, drawing and painting subjects ranging from his mother and Celia Birtwell, his muse over many decades, to art dealer Larry Gagosian and artists such as John Baldessari. He often depicted his models seated relaxed in a chair, as in this portrait.

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The Artist

David Hockney

Born in Bradford England on the 9th July 1937 David Hockney was interested in art from a very early age, and was an admirer of Fragonard, Picasso and Matisse. The fifth of six children his parents encouraged his artistic experimentation. He went to the Bradford College of Art 1953-57. To fulfil his national service, he worked in hospitals as he was a conscientious objector to war. Then in 1959 he was accepted into the Royal College of Art, Graduate school in London.

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