Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hilaire Hiler's Underwater Experience

I stepped into the Maritime Museum today.  It wasn't my first visit, but this time I was alone to take in the fantastic and energetic murals.  What is it about art from the first half of the 20th Century that inspires me so?  Artist Hilaire Hiler painted them, sponsored by the good ol' WPA. 
This is sooo 2012, or is it sooo 1930's, or sooo 1965?  Is it from a science textbook?  Whimsical shower curtain?  Warner Brothers cartoon?  Science fiction book cover?  Max Ernst-Salvador Dalí collaboration?
All of the above.  Swim with me.....
(Bio from the internet, following photos)




Hilaire Hiler was born in St Paul, Minnesota on July 16, 1898. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania; University of Denver; Golden State University, Los Angeles; and the Nat'l College, Ontario, Canada. Sailing to France in 1919, he continued at the University of Paris while playing saxophone in a jazz band. During the 1920s he ran the Jockey Club (an artists' hangout) on the Left Bank. At the club he often played jazz piano with a live monkey on his back. Upon moving to San Francisco in the 1930s, he was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration to paint murals in the Aquatic Park Bath House (now the National Maritime Museum). He contributed illustrated maps for the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 and exhibited at the fair. From San Francisco he moved south to Hollywood where he opened a short-lived nightclub on the Sunset Strip. He then lived in Santa Fe (New Mexico), New York City, and in the early 1960s returned to Paris where he remained until his demise on Jan. 19, 1966. A self-taught artist, he was an exponent of modern art and known for his abstracts. Works held: Museum of New Mexico; National Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art (New York City); Santa Barbara Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Luxembourg Museum (Paris); San Francisco Museum of Art; Harvard University; Oakland Museum; California Palace of Legion of Honor

1 comment:

  1. A client suggested that I place a "nice painting" rather higher up on the wall of my dental surgery, so that she could see while dental work was being done for her. A good idea, I thought, to distract clients.
    My nurse found and ordered this canvas print, http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-7Z5Q5K, by Gustav Klimt, by browsing to wahooart.com who made our excellent print from their database of images from western art.

    ReplyDelete