John Seed blogs about the painter Hassel Smith (1915-2007) on the occasion of an exhibition of Smith's work at Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco and the publication of a new monograph on the artist edited by Petra Giloy-Hirtz.
Seed writes: "Smith first gained notice as a representational painter in the 1940s: his works from that period have an energy and graphic insistence that predicts some of the qualities of the Bay Area Figurative style that his friend David Park would pioneer a few years later. In the 50's Smith -- who was very close to Clyfford Still -- developed the feisty calligraphic abstract paintings that earned him his reputation as an 'underground legend.' ...The peripatetic life that followed after Smith left Los Angeles -- he was back and forth between California and England for many years -- combined with his constant stylistic tinkering, meant that the art world never quite managed to get a read on Smith during his lifetime."
John Seed looks at the interesting life and work of under-known artist Hassel Smith. Smith worked in several majors styles of painting both abstract and figurative throughout a tumultuous career. Hassel Smith: Upending Orthodoxy is on view at Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara through April 3, 2011.
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.