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 James Grant  (1924 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: non ob imagery, collage, sculpture, painting

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Ad Code: 3
bas-relief, cast polyester resin, 47 x 60 inches
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted by the artist's son, Tony Grant:

James Grant was a painter and sculptor most active from the late 1950s into the early 1970s.  Best known for his sculptural work in plastics, this work by no means defined him, but was rather a natural endpoint of an exploration into increased dimensionality -- starting from abstract canvases, moving through collages and bas-reliefs until the work finally came off the wall in sculptural form.

Grant was born in Los Angeles in 1924.  After receiving his undergraduate degree in Engineering from USC, he went on to pursue his M.F.A. at the Jepson Art Institute in Los Angeles, studying under Rico Lebrun.  In 1950 he accepted a teaching position at Pomona College in Claremont, CA where he was Assistant Professor of Art for nine years.  During his tenure at Pomona he worked with many influential artists and art historians, including painters Karl Benjamin and Frederick Hammersley, as well as Peter Selz (who later went on to become Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, New York) and Seymour Slive (Director of the Fogg Museum, Harvard University).

While working in Southern California, Grant had solo exhibitions at the Pasadena Art Museum, Pomona College, and U.C. Riverside, and group exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum, the Oakland Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art (now S.F. MoMA).

After Pomona, Grant enjoyed a two year stay in Rome where his paintings began to develop in texture -- moving more towards collage work, using both paint and fabric.  His stay was punctuated by a solo exhibition at the Galleria Pogliani in Rome.

Upon returning to the United States in 1962, Grant settled in San Francisco, where his collage work continued.  In 1963 he had a solo exhibition at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco.  During the 60s, he showed regularly at galleries and museums both in the Bay Area (Hansen Gallery) and New York (Bertha Schaefer Gallery and Grand Central Moderns).

In the mid 1960s, his collages began to include polyester resin which he applied in a painterly fashion to the canvas. Soon he began to cast the resin into large, textured bas-reliefs. His plastic work culminated in the development of large cast resin freestanding sculptures of geometric disks, tall spikes and subtly curved shapes which were highly polished.

In 1970, he had a retrospective at Mills College in Oakland documenting his transition in style from abstract canvases to collages to bas-reliefs and finally the freestanding sculptures.

In the 1970s, he worked on several commissioned works, many incorporating unique plastic and glass materials.

After a break from art during the late 1970s, he returned to painting in the early 1980s producing small watercolors that were cut into squares and reassembled into grids.  He then took this format to a large scale, painting acrylic canvases which were also cut into squares and reassembled in works ranging from four to eight feet.  This work continued into the 1990s.

Grant passed away in Stinson Beach, CA in August 1997.

Solo Exhibitions:
1972  Triangle Gallery, San Francisco
1970  Mills College Art Gallery
1969  Seligman Gallery, Seattle, WA
1968  Raymond College, University of the Pacific
1966  Hansen Gallery, San Francisco
1963  Grand Central Moderns, New York
1963  M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco
1962  Galleria Pogliani, Rome
1961  Grand Central Moderns, New York
1958  University of California at Riverside
1958  Humboldt State College
1958  Pomona College, Claremont, CA
1956  Pasadena Art Museum

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2007  Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA, San Francisco and the Second Wave: The Blair Collection of Abstract Expressionism
2004  Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, San Francisco and the Second Wave: The Blair Collection of Abstract Expressionism
1995  Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, A Bay Area Connection: Works from the Anderson Collection
1985  Pomona College, The Colleges Collect
1971  University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture
1971  Stanford Art Gallery, Palo Alto, CA, West Coast Art
1971  Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA, Color in Sculpture
1971  Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, CA, Pierres de Fantasie
1970  Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE, Looking West
1969  University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture
1968  Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, Plastic as Plastic
1969  Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, PA,  Plastics: New Art
1968  Hansen Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Recent Developments in Plastic
1968  Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA, West Coast ’68, Painters and Sculptors
1967  Hansen Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Plastics West Coast
1967  University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture
1966  Mead Corporation, Art Across America
1966  Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA, ’66 Painters and Sculptors
1966  San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco Art Institute 85th Annual Exhibition
1963  Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia
Idaho State University
Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri
Cornell University, Ithaca New York
1962  Art Center in La Jolla
1960  University of Nebraska, Nebraska Art Association Annual
1959  Pasadena Art Museum, A Decade (1949-1959)
1959  Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York
1958  San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco Art Institute 77th Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition
1957  California State Fair and Exhibition
1956  Pomona Museum, Pomona, CA, Grant, Hammersley, Lawler
1955  Los Angeles County Museum
1954  Oakland Art Museum, Western Painters Annual Exhibition
1954  Los Angeles County Museum
University of Southern California

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