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 William (Bill) Gatewood  ( - 1994)

About: William (Bill) Gatewood


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: Japanese image paintings, wood and paper structures

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Beginning at a young age, William had an extraordinary interest in the aesthetics of art and color. At the age of 7, when asked to choose the colors to paint his bedroom, he chose chartreuse walls, peacock blue ceiling, and Chinese red accents.
After earning an MFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, William embarked on the career in fine art that would bring him international recognition. Some of his early work reflects influences of Matisse, Magritte, and Klimt. Space/sky combined with its opposite, object/mass patterns, has been his subject from early paintings and throughout his career.
William's work tells a sublime story to attract the viewer with beauty, and to share a vision by engaging the mind with visual opposites. East/West, old/new, contrived/structural, durable/fragile, chaos/harmony - each visually playing off the energy created by the stress.
Through his work he celebrated the magic and wonder in the world. He worked to create an energy field within each piece that may be felt by the viewer who shares his vision of beauty; his work attempts to release the viewer into a sense of safety and play through the human traditions of pattern, textiles, architecture. He relies upon beauty to attract the eye and release the heart. In his words, he worked " represent human ideals by stimulating a sense of visual beauty."
William often used paper with constructed wood structures, such as kites and panel pieces, to express flight, space, and fragility. Screens are used for creating environments for the viewer to manipulate, thus bringing the viewer into an individual sense of play or movement. The components of the surface are applied in transparent and/or opaque layers creating a lost and found rhythm. The visual complexity and the chaos of random drips and splashes are created with inks, paints, Japanese papers, and metallic leafing. The iconography of the East is often combined with a Western approach to painting.
William always enjoyed physical space, making things to remind us of "home." In 1982, William purchased a rather timeworn Victorian mansion in San Francisco dating from the 1870's. A 12-year process of restoring the house followed, using many of the methods employed in his art. Eventually the house was transformed into an elegant residence and studio.
William Gatewood, who aspired to merge art with each aspect of living, passed away due to complications resulting from the AIDS virus in February 1994. In the month preceding his death, William spoke of the historical context created by the existence and effects of AIDS; knowing that his passing would be acknowledged as part of that history eased both the intellect and the spirit. He had lived according to his self prescribed maxim "Life is the Art."

Selected Corporate Collections
Site 311, Pacific Grove, CA
City Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, WA
Karl Bornstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Ivory/Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Kathryn Markel, New York, NY
Mirage Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Tom Luttrell Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Arco Center for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Edward Dean Museum, Banning, CA
Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle, WA
Comsky Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

Security Pacific Bank, Los Angeles, CA
United California Bank, Los Angeles, CA
North America Aviation, Hartford, CT
Shell Oil Company of California
Bank of America, San Francisco, CA
Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, CA
Architectural Digest, Los Angeles, CA
Chitendon Corporation, Curacao
Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills/San Francisco, CA
Continental Bank, Chicago, IL
Trammell Crow, Los Angeles, CA
Doubletree Hotels, Los Angeles, CA
Citmar, San Francisco, CA
Sheraton Hotels, San Diego/Los Angeles, CA
Hyatt Hotels, San Francisco/Anaheim, CA
Transamerica Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
and many others

MFA, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
BFA, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
BA, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA


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