ROBERT KULICKE (1924-2007)
Pear Pendant, 1966
Cloisonné enamel pendant in silver setting
1 ½ x 1 1/8 inches (enamel)
Chain length: 12 inches
Signed and dated verso: KULICKE / 66
Estate of Helen Frankenthaler
Robert Kulicke, noted frame maker and painter, was also an accomplished jeweler. Around 1970, Kulicke left Kulicke Frames, which was taken over by his wife, whom he divorced, and his father-in-law. In 1968, after years of experimenting, he perfected the goldsmithing technique of granulation. It had been widely used from antiquity to the 11th century and periodically revived by artisans who did not share its secrets. He began teaching the technique at the Scarsdale Studio Workshop School and then at the Kulicke Cloisonné Workshop, which he founded in his studio on Upper Broadway in New York. In 1974 he founded the Kulicke-Stark Academy with Jean Stark, his companion at the time. In 1984 the academy was renamed the Jewelry Arts Institute, and the jeweler Bessie Jamieson became the director.
Born in Philadelphia in 1924, Robert M. Kulicke attended the Tyler School of Art (Temple University) and the Philadelphia Museum School. In 1949, he studied in Paris with Fernand Leger at the Academie Leger, Paris. Davis & Langdale Company exclusively represented the work of Robert M. Kulicke beginning in 1974 and continues to represent the estate of the artist.
Robert M. Kulicke primarily painted still lifes, choosing a jar of olives, a bouquet of flowers and, his signature subject, the pear as his subjects. Intimate in scale, each painting is contained in a frame that was hand-made by Kulicke, based on designs found throughout framing history.
In 1951, he opened Kulicke Frames in New York City and socialized with Abstract Expressionist painters including Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline. They encouraged him to design thin frames that would not distract from their paintings.
Since 1974 Kulicke had an annual exhibition at the Davis & Langdale Company. He also had exhibitions at Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University (1978), John F. Warren, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (Color of Money: Robert Kulicke’s Dollar Bill Paintings, 1988), Columbia Museums of Art and Science, South Carolina (1983), and Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco (1991, 1994) and others.
In 1988 Kulicke was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design.