Medium: Mixed media on paper James Pinkney Havard (American, b. 1937) is an American painter and sculptor born in Galveston, TX in 1937. He was a pioneer of abstract illusionism in the 1970s. In the 1980s he changed his style into a form of abstract expressionism influenced by Native American and tribal cultures as well as outsider art. Havard has been compared to artists such as Paul Gauguin, Cy Twombly, Jean Dubuffet, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Joseph Beuys. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in art from Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, TX in 1959, and then went on to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. His career can be divided into three broad periods: realism (1960s), abstract illusionism (1970s), and abstract expressionism with tribal and outsider influences (1980s and beyond). By the late 1970s Havard was considered one of the founders of abstract illusionism—his work during this period is characterized by pastel colors, “optical illusions and combinations of gesso wipes, chalk scrawls, incised lines, and squirts of paint directly from the tube.” He moved to New York in 1977 and took frequent trips to Santa Fe, NM beginning in 1978. Havard then moved to Santa Fe in 1989 where he continued to develop his style, ultimately liberating himself from all references to abstract illusionism. Havard’s work is in the permanent collection of the Gugguenheim in New York, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, Sweden.
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