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Bernard Chaet
Large American Modernist Watercolor Painting Leeks Bernard Chaet Expressionist




Hand signed and dated leeks on a kitchen table 31.5 X 39.5 framed. 21 X 28.5 sheet without frame. Bernard Chaet (born 1924, Boston, MA - 2012) was an American artist; Chaet is known for his colorful, dynamic modernist paintings and masterful draftsmanship, his association with the Boston Expressionists, and his 40-year career as a Professor of Painting at Yale University. His works also include watercolors and prints. In 1994, he was named a National Academician by the National Academy of Design. Chaet was instrumental in transforming Yale’s traditional art program into one with a more modernist approach that gained national prominence. Chaet melded landscape and abstraction in a traditional established by Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Edvard Munch, Piet Mondrian, and Ferdinand Hodler. His own tenure began in 1951 at Yale, where he worked closely with Josef Albers to revamp Yale’s art program. Between 1959 and 1962 he was the chair of what was then called the Yale Department of Art of the School of Fine Arts — prior to becoming one of the independent professional schools at Yale in 1973. Chaet taught painting and drawing and mentored generations of emerging talents. Chaet was the author of the 1970 textbook “The Art of Drawing” and “An Artist’s Notebook 1979,” both of which have since been reissued several times. In the latter book, alongside examples of work by his favorite artists, are student drawings by Yale graduates such as Robert Birmelin, Michael Mazur and Eugene Baguskas. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1924, Chaet studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and then earned a B.A. at Tufts University. Known for his expressionist landscapes and still lifes, Chaet’s work has continuously been shown in galleries in his native Boston, in New York City, and around the country. In 2010, a retrospective of his seascapes was featured at the Cape Ann Historical Society in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he had a home and a summer studio in nearby Rockport. His has also exhibited at David Findlay Gallery in New York and at Swarthmore College. Many of Chaet’s students went on to notable art careers, including Janet Fish, Chuck Close, and Richard Serra. His work is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, CT, and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA. Chaet is the recipient of many awards including: the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities, Sabbatical Grant in 1967-68, the National Academy of Fine Arts, Benjamin Altman Award in Painting in 1997, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jimmy Ernst Prize in 2001. Chaet was born and raised in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA. He completed a dual program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—studying painting with Karl Zerbe—and Tufts University, graduating with a B.S. in 1949. Chaet is known for his association as a first generation Boston Expressionist. (along with Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine) Chaet was a contributing editor to Arts Magazine. In 1960 he published the book Artists At Work, which features in depths conversations with artists Pat Adams, Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Al Blaustein, Hyman Bloom, James Brooks, Robert Engman, Esther Geller, Seymour Lipton, Conrad Marca-Relli, Gabor Peterdi, Irwin Rubin, Elbert Weinberg, and others, about their various materials and techniques. Chaet began teaching in the Yale University Art Department in 1951 and could continue to do so until his retirement in 1990. He was named the William Leffingwell Professor of Painting in 1979 and served as chairman of the Art Department.


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