(1923 - 2011)
George Stave was active/lived in California, New Jersey / France. George Stave is known for interiors, figure, portrait, still life and landscape painting.
Biography from the Archives of askART
George Stave (1923-2011)
Biography from the Archives of askART
George Stave was an American realist painter best known for his landscapes, still life, and interiors. He was born on July 29, 1923, in Los Angeles and grew up Salinas, California. At the age of 17 he returned to Los Angeles, having won a scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute (today California Institute of the Arts). There he studied with the American painter Henry Lee McFee (1886-1953). Privately, he studied with Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955), a Russian-American portrait painter.
In his early 20s, Stave worked as a set painter in the art department of Paramount Studios in Hollywood. From 1945 to 1948, he was an instructor of figure and portrait painting at the Jepson Art Institute (which closed in 1954). During this period, his work regularly appeared in “Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity,” an annual exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum. In 1947, his work was featured at the Vanbark Studios in an “Exhibition of Paintings: Suggested by Arthur Millier, Art Critic – Los Angeles Times.”
His La Barberia, Mexican Quarter (1947) was selected for Pepsi-Cola Company's “Fifth Annual Exhibition, Paintings of the Year,” which was held at the National Academy of Design in 1948, and then other museums.
Stave moved to Paris in 1949 and continued his education at the Académie Julian. In 1951 he was awarded a Fulbright Act grant for a year in India, and thereafter he traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and Japan, studying and collecting art. When he arrived in New York City in the mid-1950s, he was briefly a student of the abstract expressionist painter Robert Motherwell (1915-91) at Hunter College. He also took classes at the Art Students League.
By 1958, Stave had married, started a family, and moved to Cranbury, New Jersey. For most of his working life, he was a set painter for NBC Studios and, later, Lincoln Scenic Studios. He was a member of the United Scenic Artists union. Throughout this time Stave never ceased painting. By the 1980s his works regularly appeared in galleries and museums in New York City, New Jersey, California, and Maine.
He joined the Associated Artists of New Jersey and had solo exhibitions at the Newark Museum (1981), Siegel Contemporary Art (1984), Joseph Keiffer Inc. (1990, 1992, 1994), Hammer Galleries (2002), and Morpeth Contemporary (2004, 2006, 2009).
He died in Cranbury on August 26, 2011.
Stave always worked from direct observation, without preparatory drawings. He had an extraordinary ability to capture light in a naturalistic way. As a landscape painter, Stave was most attracted to the vernacular architecture he found in his explorations of back roads and small towns of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His search for landscapes and cityscapes continued in various locales across the United States, as well as Italy, France, Portugal, and Haiti.
Stave's remarkable still lifes were usually painted in his studio. He was particularly drawn to the work of Paul Cézanne and Giorgio Morandi. His typical subjects were antique bottles, small commercial tins, porcelains, textiles, and papers, which he often rendered in a style close to trompe l’oeil realism. In canvases ranging from muted to brilliant color schemes these compositions were formally complex and nuanced. Stave’s portraits of family and close friends, and his intimate interior scenes show the influence of the painters he admired, in particular Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard.
Through grant funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, several of Stave’s major paintings are now owned by the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus, New Jersey. Most of his work is in private collections.
“George Stave is Awarded Art Scholarship.” Flashlight (Salinas, California), June 4, 1941.
Kirby, Sam. “A Painter for All Seasons.” American Artist (July 1994), 22-29, 78. (six color illustrations)
Mayer, Roberta A. The Paintings of George Stave (1923-2011): Reflections
on Close Observation, 2017. https://www.george-stave-paintings.net
Pepsi-Cola Company's Fifth Annual Exhibition, Paintings of the Year. [New York, N.Y.]: [Pepsi-Cola Company], .
Raynor, Vivien. “Art: 3 Latin Americans in the Duchamp Mold.” New York Times, July 27, 1984.
________. “Art; Film and Paintings of Past and Present.” New York Times, August 22, 1982.
________. “Art; Eclectic Works at an Old Mill.” New York Times, May 27, 1990.
________. “Art; Narrowing 400 Entries Down to 29: A Fine Job of Selection.” New York Times, June 24, 1990.
Shirey, David L. “Art; Newark Museum: The Housescape as a Tribute to Light.” New York Times, June 28, 1981.
“Stave, George.” New York Times, August 30, 2011.
Submitted by Roberta A. Mayer, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Art History, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA 19840. This biography has been approved by the family of George Stave.
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George Stave was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1928. Stave won a scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute in 1940. During the 1940s he he worked in the art department at Paramount Pictures and taught painting at Jepson Art Institute. His works include realistic still lifes, landscapes, and interiors. Since 1958 he has lived in New Jersey in a home overlooking Cranbury Lake.
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