ELIZABETH RICE, INC.

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 FINE ART

 

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JEAN WEINBAUM

Critical acclaim has been lauded upon Jean Weinbaum from early on in his career. His creative sensibilities of color, and his amazing capability to transform color into an element of luminosity, have always been a hallmark

of his style.

 

Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1926, Weinbaum, studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zurich from 1942-1946. After World War II, Weinbaum moved to Paris, where he studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, the Ecole Paul Colin, and the Academie Andre L’Hote, all from 1947-1948. While in France, Weinbaum explored his use of intense color and dramatic forms, refining his interplay of color tonalities. From his extensive study of light and form, and his own personal interest in the incredible stained glass windows to be found in France, Weinbaum was commissioned to create many stained glass windows for both private and public environments. His great facility in the design of stained glass is evident in Wall of Light, a one thousand square foot stained glass composition at Escherange, Mosell, France.

 

During this time, he was also widely connected within artistic circles, and was invited into the Neo-Constructivist Artist Association Group “ESPACE”. Together with such leading artists as Arp, Sonia Deluney, Javelensky, Vasarely, and Leger, Weinbaum developed his understanding of form and motion in art, while continuing to focus on the use of color for dramatic impact. Weinbaum’s work has been exhibited in the Louvre, along with the works of Giacommetti, Matta, Picasso and Vasarely, and in a traveling show with the works of Picasso and Leger.

 

In 1966, Weinbaum left Paris for Asia, where he traveled extensively and continued to study the arts. While traveling in Japan and India, he became deeply involved with the philosophical ideals of the people, which influenced his artwork. He finally arrived in the United States in 1968 with several brushes, his paints, and twenty dollars. Since that time, his work has been widely exhibited in both museums and galleries.

 

For the past 15 years, Weinabum has been working on his Titanium Series, in which he pioneered the use of pigments mixed with titanium sands to create a three-dimensional effect, with much depth of color. Weinbaum has the great and unique ability of uniting dramatic impact with a deep understanding of color sensibility.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

1955

Galerie Weiller, Paris, France

1960

Galerie Beno, Zurich, Switzerland

1960

Galerie d’Art du Faubourg, Paris, France

1968

Bechtel International Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

1969

Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA

1970

Galerie Smith-Anderson, Palo Alto, CA

1971

California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA

1971

Galerie Smith-Anderson, Palo Alto, CA

1972

Bildungszentrum, Gelsenkirchen, West Germany

1972

Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Lausanne, Switzerland

1973

Heimatmuseum, Bottrop, West Germany

1973

Galerie Smith-Anderson, Palo Alto, CA

1973

Humboldt Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1973

Lantern Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

1974

Ars Longa Galleries, Houston, TX

1974

Galerie Numaga, Auvenier, Switzerland

1974

Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle, WA

1974

Goethe Institute, San Francisco, CA

1975

Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle, WA

1976

Galerie Smith-Anderson, Palo Alto, CA

1976

Humboldt Gallery, New York, NY

1976

Galerie Smith Anderson, Palo Alto, CA

1979

Galerie Smith-Anderson, Palo Alto, CA

1979

Pasqualle Iannetti Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1981

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

1982

Concourse Gallery, Bank of America, San Francisco, CA

1986

Michael Dunev Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1987

Rado International, Hong Kong

1988

Industrie Leasing, Swiss Bank Corp., Zurich, Switzerland

1989

Fota Gallery, Alexandria, VA

1991

Fota Gallery, Alexandria, VA

1992

Jurnbaum, Inc., Zurich, Switzerland

1995

Alliance Francaise, San Francisco, CA

1996

Kismet Gallery, San Jose, CA

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1949

Group Exhibition, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

1955

Galerie Weiller, Paris, France

1959

Carlos, Chavignier, Hanich, Perrot, Rozo, Weinbaum, Galerie de France, Paris, France

1959

80 Maler der Ecole de Paris, 1900-1959, Weiner Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria

1959

Group Exhibition, Galerie de France, Paris, France

1960

Exposition Festival d’Orsay, studio of Jean Weinbaum, Orsay, France

1960

Group Exhibition, Gallerie Weiller, Paris, France

1961

Selchow, Stempfl, Weinbaum, Galerie d’Art du Faubourg, Paris, France

1961

Poesie Objective, Galerie d’Art de France, Paris, France

1962

Salon des Comparaisons, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1962

Salon des Realities Nouvelles, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1962

Exposition L’Object, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France

1962

Group Exhibition, Gallery Robert Elkon, New York, NY     

1963

Group Exhibition, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1964

Group Exhibition, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1965

Babel 65, Musee Galliera, Paris, France

1966

Le Visage, Galerie A, Paris, France

1967

Group Exhibition, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1968

Trois Peintures, Gouches et Aquarelles, Gallerie Lutece, Paris, France

1969

Group Exhibition, Gallery Carl Van der Voot, San Francisco, CA

1970

California Printmakers, California Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA

1974

Group Exhibition, Galerie Schindler, Bern, Switzerland

1975

The Rainbow Show, The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

1976

Contemporary Collage, Alice Simsar Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

1977

Works on Paper, Beverly Gordon Gallery, Dallas, TX

1978

Group Exhibition, Michael Dunev gallery, San Francisco, CA

1979

Group Exhibition, Frank Bustamante Gallery, New York, NY

1980

Between Two Worlds 1, Credit Suisse, New York, NY

1981

Between Two Worlds 2, Credit Suisse, New York, NY

1982

Four Swiss Artists, Fota Gallery, Alexandria, VA

1996

Kismet Gallery, San Jose, CA

2002

Elizabeth Rice Fine Art, Sarasota, FL

 

COMMISSIONS

1950

11 stained glass windows and designs for vestments for the Chapelle de Mosloy, La ferte-Milon, France

1955

Rosette window for the Church of Berne-sur-Oise, France

1956

Windows and ceramic frescoes at the St. Pierre du Regard, France

1957

Wall of Light, a 1,000 sq. foot stained glass composition for the Church of Escherange, Moselle, France

1958

Stained glass windows for the church of Ailly, Normandie, France

1959

8 stained glass windows for the Lycee de Jeunes Filles, Bayonne, France

1960

4 oil paintings for the Spectrum Center in Dallas, TX

 

REVIEWS & QUOTES

He (Jean Weinbaum) is known for his “fused watercolor” technique, where curving bands of intense color are bound through the liberal use of water in the pigment, applied to water-saturated paper in paintings or collages. Looking at these paintings recalls a clavier a lumieres concert, in which an organ produces colored lights to represent musical notes as the keys are pressed. When standing before Weinbaum’s paintings, take time to absorb the resonance of his color contrasts. Like finely tuned music, their timbre will stay with you all the way home.

           Kevin Costello, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, November 1, 2002

 

Weinbaum’s forms are entirely abstract, and are mostly simple, large, and grand with a touch of mysticism in their use of forms to which religious people are likely to attach religious meanings – the disc, the circle, the triangle, the mandala. He is a master of the fused watercolor technique wherein forms feather out at their edges and thereby become all the more powerful at their centers. But what counts above everything is that blazing, unforgettable color, which seems scarcely to be the product of any ordinary pigments, but is a veritable distillation of light itself.

            Alfred Frankenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, June 9, 1971

 

A light trembles. In his recent paintings, Jean Weinbaum is not interested in form but only in color and the expansiveness of color. A shifting world lives in these paintings, a world without shadow, a space without limit, all fresh colors like promises of a new dawn.

            Raymond Cogniat, Le Figaro, June 2, 1960

 

Thus we find expressed in a new form the trace of his earlier works with light. He observes it, captures it, concentrates it by subtle approaches, surrounds it and gives it back to us charged with emotion, reduced to itself, delivered from anything which could prevent its radiance. With all opacity eliminated, his forms dissolve into a specifically pictorial space where inpungent hints of nature miraculously subsist.

          Denys Chevalier, AujourdHui, No. 30, February, 1961

 

Let us speak first of his purity, and a  monochromism where sometimes yellow and sometimes blue dominates. A symbolism of color is complex, but we can attribute to his clear and unified visions the quality if ingenuity, this gift of childhood which I have so often valued as a major virtue of the artist. Nothing is more dramatic yet relaxing at the same time, and Weinbaum does it with a knowing simplicity which permits him to spiritualize human guts.

           Jean Raine, Le Californien, No. 24, June 1968

 

Jean Weinbaum’s paintings are exceptionally vibrant and dynamic. Weinbaum is not afraid of painting clearly and directly; his colors are fresh, his drawing is supple and shimmering; and the result reveals both sensitivity and wit.

           George Boudille, Cimaise, No. 47

 

If Jean Weinbaum had been an old Flemish painter and had died nameless, we’d call him the Master of the Rainbows today. Fortunately, Mr. Weinbaum is very much extant and his production of rainbows is undiminished in every sense of that word. A group of them now may be seen at the Humboldt Galleries, 575 Sutter Street (San Francisco).

 

The pamphlet for the current show reminds the world that two years ago, when Weinbaum was introduced to the local public at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, I said his color seems scarcely to be the product of any ordinary pigment, but is the veritable distillation of light itself. He was not using the rainbow formula then, as I recall it; with the adoption of that compositional device, his color blazes more than ever and is more than ever impressive and beautiful.

 

This is particularly true of the paintings wherein the arcs fill the entire visual field. Weinbaum has a way of combining several of his rainbow paintings – as many as eight in one instance inside a single frame for a series of adjoining frames. Wherein arcs of various colors, intense beyond belief in their luminosity, race across the paper and carry the eye and the mind far beyond the frame, are among the most impressive paintings being done today in the Bay Region.

            Alfred Frankenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/24/73

 

Weinbaum is a painter in stained glass; his paintings have the tonalities of stained glass windows. The construction and chromatic equilibrium of his paintings, which are composed of rectangles of color, like certain works of Paul Klee, are remarkable. The orange and violet harmonies of Weinbaum are organized in rosettes in which light seems to emanate from the color itself.

            Alain Jouffroy, Beaux-Arts, November 23, 1955

 

Jean Weinbaum makes light melt in the context of a molecular organization, which in its liveliness evokes the worlds of both plants and water.

           Jean Jaques Leveque, L’Information, May 26, 1960

 

Weinbaum, a young abstractionist, clearly symbolizes the current movement in painting. In his desire to exalt color to the highest power (and his colors are magnificently luminous) he simplifies the structure of his painting, renders it fluid to the point of annihilation. In his recent paintings there is nothing left but the burst of sunny yellows.          

             Georges Boudille, Les Lettres Francaises, No. 827, 6/2/60

 

The excitement of this latest series (Rainbow Series) is intensified by gathering together four, nine, or twelve of the arcs into larger scale, overall statements. Here the total impact and presence of Weinbaum’s color-form becomes almost overwhelming. One group in particular, a group of twelve individual arcs titled “The Rainbow Lotus”, achieves a fine balance of warmth and stimulation with the blended nuance of color harmonies that Weinbaum is noted for. Like his use of watercolor technique, Weinbaum’s use of color in his paintings is personal to him. His juxtapositions of hue are bold and sure, full of surprises, bright but never harsh and demanding. Each of these paintings has the quality of a living thing. Observed over a period of time, even a single painting can become a source of energy as it radiates color-life for a viewer who is open to it.

           Christine Lardon, Artweek, 11/10/73

 

However, the most remarkable of all the qualities of this painter is the extreme acuteness of his sensitivity always precise, is revealed not only in the inventiveness of his compositions, but also in the delicacy of his spaces and the fluidity of his lights.         

          Claude Riviere, Combat, June 9, 1960

 

Regarding, Weinbaum: Transparency, this Swiss abstract painter is concerned with effects of luminous transparency which he expresses by large areas, clear and light, juxtaposed or superimposed. His watercolors have a vibrant colored joyousness.         

          R.C., Arts, January 4, 1961

 

In his recent paintings Jean Weinbaum expresses himself more freely. On the otherside, his palette becomes lighter and the medium of liquid paint superimposed became absolutely personal.          

           France Observer, June 23, 1960

 

The watercolors of Jean Weinbaum at the Smith Anderson gallery on the third floor at 228 Grant (San Francisco) reflect the Swiss-born artist’s experience as a designer of stained-glass windows, as well as his association with such artists as Sonia Delauney and Fernand Leger in Paris in the early 50’s. The smaller works are abstractions that bring broad, vivid-hued lines and arcs into interlocking, compacted compositions that suggest an origin in the human figure. The larger, more spacious, dynamic and free, counterpointing and sweeping arcs, with a brushy zig-zagging calligraphy, suggest a relationship to Delauney’s “Orphism”, although also occasionally calling to mind the facile elegance of Hans Hartung. His most effective works, to my eye, are those that group four watercolors together in sets of contiguous and discontinuous forms and movements, which are emphasized by playing down color contrasts, and three sculptures in carved and laminated wood, their surfaces painted in flat monochromes and their forms projecting a hieratic, totemic quality.         

             Thomas Albright, San Francisco Chronicle, January 1976

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reproductions, descriptions and critiques of works by Jean Weinbaum may be found in the following publications:

 

Le Vitrail Francaise, Editions des Deux Mondes, 1958, Paris, Tendences Modernes, by Francoise Mathey, description and plate, p. 304, fly leaf volume.

 

L’Art Abstrait dans l’Art Sacre, Editions E. de Boccard, 1964, Paris, by Georges Mercier, description, p. 142, 143, 147, plates no. 21, fig. 13.

Stained Glass: An Architectural Art, Universe Books, Inc., 1965, New York, by Robert Sowers, plate, p. 100.

 

L’Oeil”, No. 43/44, July/August, 1958, Lausanne, Du vitrail abstrait au mur de lumiere, by Georges Mercier, plate, p. 24, description, p. 26.

 

“Space Design, No. 34”, September 1967, Tokyo, “Stained Glass Works by Jean Weinbaum”, article by Shuji Takashina, pp. 102-105, plates pp. 104-105.