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 Thomas Locker  (1937 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: New York/Illinois      Known for: landscape painting, chlldren's book illustrator

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Ad Code: 4
Thomas Locker
from Auction House Records.
Panoramic Vista
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist, submitted by David Fitting and published in The Register Star Online, Hudson, New York.

EAST JEWETT – Thomas Locker, 74, passed away on Friday, March 9, 2012.

Thomas was born in New York in 1937. He has spent his entire life in service to his two great passions: beauty and nature. As a landscape painter and children’s book illustrator, he has shared his vision with thousands.

Thomas is survived by his wife, Candace Christiansen; five children; four stepchildren; nine grandchildren; a brother, Michael Locker; and a sister, Barbara Frumkin.

Since the opening of his first one-man show in 1964, at the Banfer Gallery in New York City, Thomas Locker has held more than 50 such exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States and abroad. These include two at the Hammer Gallery in New York City, plus a major show at the Alan Jacobs Gallery in London. Most recently, the Remmington Museum in Ogdensburg, hosted a one-man exhibition and book signing.

Biography from Gusfield-Glimer Galleries:
After thirty-five years as a landscape painter, Tom Locker continues a romantic style of painting, using Old Master techniques. His passion for the traditions of  the American Hudson River painters has influenced him to produce canvases intended to bring the literal world of nature into a level of dream-like beauty. He labors over his work, and strives for skilled craftsmanship which includes glazing techniques and luminous architecture.

Locker has been a children’s book illustrators since 1984. He has done paintings for twenty-three books, several of which he also wrote. Locker has received the Christopher Award for The Family Farm. His Where The River Begins and The Young Artist were chosen by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of The New York Times as Best Books of the year for children.

In his paintings he strives to express a profound sense of mystery and wonderment at the power of being.  For Between Earth and Sky, legendary tales of Native American sacred places written by Joseph Bruchac, Locker traveled the country to produce canvases from the various sites featured in the text. Water Dance, published in 1997, tells the story in magnificent landscapes of the cycle of rain, painted in the Hudson River Valley where the artist resides.

Born in New York City, 1937, Locker has a B.A. in art history from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. in painting from American University. He has been Professor of Fine Arts at Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana; and Professor of Humanities at Shimer College, Mount Carol, Illinois.

He has solo exhibitions in London (The Alan), New York (The Banfer; Hammer Gallery), Washington, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

He is Winner of The Christopher Award, Winner of The John Burroughs Award and Winner of The New York Times Award.

Biography from Mark Gruber Gallery:
Thomas Locker was born in 1937. He has spent his entire life in service to his two great passions: painting and nature.  Through widespread exhibition of his artwork and publication of his illustrated children's books, Mr. Locker has touched the hearts and minds of countless people.

Mr. Locker's early paintings were poetic landscapes.  Dr. Joshua C. Taylor, former director of the National Collection of Fine Arts for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., wrote, "Although Locker's landscapes are not glimpses of a new Arcadia, the quotation from the past reemphasizes their cerebral play. They call attention less to Nature than to the complex intermingling of perception and thought in the mind of man.  Suddenly, seeing becomes thinking, and thinking a delight to the age."

In 1982, Thomas Locker's career took on a new and even broader dimension. In an effort to connect with a wider audience and educate younger minds, he began work on his first children's picture book.  Today, Mr. Locker's paintings and illustrations appear on the pages of some 30 books, several of which he also wrote.  These books have been honored with numerous awards, including the Christopher Award, the John Burroughs Award, and The New York Times Award for best illustration.

Thomas Locker's most recent landscapes have a quality all their own. His years of experimentation and research into the glazing techniques and paint chemistry of traditional European painting have been pursued with the goal of achieving a new vision.


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