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 David Budd  (1927 - 1991)

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Lived/Active: New York/Florida / France      Known for: abstract-minimal painting

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Biography from McCormick Gallery:
David Budd attended the School of Architecture at the University of Florida at Gainesville from 1946 to 1948, and afterwards moved to New York.  He joined the Art Students League in 1954, and frequented the Cedar Street Tavern, where he befriended fellow artists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline.

Budd worked in the Abstract Expressionist style until the 1960s, at which point he turned to more monochromatic work with highly textured surfaces.  His first solo exhibition was held in 1956 at American University in Washington DC, followed by significant shows at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York in 1958 and Galerie Stadler, Paris in 1960.

In 1960 Budd became disillusioned with the art scene in New York and moved to Paris, where he remained for much of the next decade.  Later, he lived in the Hamptons, working and exhibiting as an active member of the East End scene.

Budd was the recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Arts in 1973 and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984.  Budd's work is included in many prominent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.  A retrospective exhibition is planned for 2009 at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, Florida.

Biography from Spanierman Gallery (retired):
An painter active in the mid- and late twentieth century, David Budd straddled the styles of abstract expressionism and color field painting. He is best known for large-scale, mostly monochromatic canvases, whose tactile surfaces are the result of his use of a wide variety of brushwork methods. The undulating rhythms in his works have been associated with hills, dunes, and the swelling of waves.

David Budd was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. From 1946 to 1948, he attended the School of Architecture at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Subsequently he studied interior design in Sarasota, Florida, at the Ringling School of Art and Design. After seeing Hans Namuth’s 1950 film of Jackson Pollock at work, Budd switched his emphasis to painting. He pursed this interest in Florida while supporting himself by working for the Christiani Brothers Circus. In this context, he met Corcaita Christiani, an equestrian ballerina, who became his wife. The couple moved to New York in 1952. There Budd studied briefly at the Art Students League. By the late 1950s, he had had formulated his thick-surfaced, monochromatic style. Between 1954 and 1960, he spent his time in Greenwich Village, where he joined fellow artists, including Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning, at the Cedar Street Tavern. His first solo exhibition was held at American University in Washington, D. C., in 1956. Subsequently he had solo shows at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1958 and 1960. In the late 1950s, Budd also spent time in East Hampton, where he exhibited at the popular Signa Gallery, an artist-run venture begun in 1957 by John Little, Alfonso Ossorio, and Elizabeth Parker. Budd often worked at The Creeks, the home of Ossorio in East Hampton.

David Budd’s marriage failed toward the end of the 1950s and he became disillusioned with the American art scene. In 1960, he moved to Paris, where he lived for most of the rest of the decade. Much of his work of this time consisted of paintings without texture rendered in flat colors and including wide, curvilinear lines. In Paris, Budd exhibited at the Galerie Stadler. Among his shows was one in which he collaborated with the writer William S. Burroughs, who dedicated his 1970 book, The Last Words of Dutch Schultz, to Budd.

After returning to New York in the 1970s, Budd exhibited at the Tibor de Nagy, Max Hutchinson, and Susan Caldwell galleries and taught at the School of Visual Arts. Between 1973 and 1986 Budd received several awards, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; he was the joint recipient of a Peggy Guggenheim Award.

Although David Budd developed severe health problems in the 1980s, he continued to work, completing two series: Journey Without Maps and Silver System. He died of heart failure at his home in Sarasota on October 9, 1991.

Budd’s work belongs to many public collections, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio; the Museum of St. Petersburg, Florida; the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York.


© The essay herein is the property of Spanierman Gallery, LLC and is copyrighted by Spanierman Gallery, LLC, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from Spanierman Gallery, LLC, nor shown or communicated to anyone without due credit being given to Spanierman Gallery, LLC.

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