It’s the 40th anniversary of my MFA in painting from UMASS, and while living and working very much in the present I think it is also time for a look back. Those who have followed the work as it progressed through time might want to review the timeline at this point, and those who have recently found appeal in what they are looking at might want to know how it evolved into what it is today.
I declared myself an art major at Rice in 1972, at the age of 18. This was the first year anyone was allowed a BA in Art degree at a university primarily known as science and engineering school. The university’s location down the street from the Houston Museum of Fine Art and a few blocks away from Rothko Chapel and collector Dominique de Menil’s home made Rice a well kept secret for the aspiring artist.
When my 1880 – 1940 art history class visited de Menil’s home it was so packed with Magrittes, Ernsts and Chiricos that many were shelved in a hall closet. Her kitchen was decorated in Mondrian!
I basked in 20th century art, though there were love affairs with a few from earlier centuries. A walk to a downtown Woolworths took me to a book sale table where I purchased my first art book (Andrea Mantegna for 2.99!) and began a life-long fascination with his colors, expressive faces, complex themes and early sense of perspective and depth. Above, I leave you with one of my student drawings quoting heavily from Mantegna.