Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works of Art: Jacques Doucet

Étè à Saint-Christol D, 1991
Silkscreen, 5/200
30 x 40 inches
$ 900

Works of art by Jacques Doucet are available at if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC.

Contact Wim Roefs at or (803) 255-0068/(803) 238-2351.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Biography: Jacques Doucet

Jacques Doucet (French, 1924-1994)

Jacques Doucet was among the few French members of CoBrA, the Northern European group of figurative-expressionist painters who established a painting style related to what Abstract Expressionists in the late 1940s and 1950s were doing in the United States. Doucet briefly had been a member of the Paris-based Revolutionary Surrealist movement, but the former World-War II political prisoner thought of the group as too political. As a member of CoBrA he never involved himself much with the theoretical side of the movement, instead feeling more at home in its general free artistic, expressionist climate and the intense manner in which CoBrA artists involved themselves with their art. After an initial fascination with Paul Klee and Joan Miro, Doucet turned to total non-representation, creating mixed media works of paint and collage and using a rather individual warm, poetic, abstract language. The graffiti on the walls of World War II prisons influenced his work. Doucet’s art is in museums throughout Europe, including Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and CoBrA Museum, Denmark’s Louisiana Museum for Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Essay: CoBrA

C O B R A (1948 –1951)

CoBrA was with Art Informel and Tachism among the post-World War II European art movements that were related to but developed independently from Abstract Expressionism in the United States. CoBrA was named after Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam, the capital of many members’ home countries. The group organized exhibitions and published pamphlets, a journal and short monographs. As an organization, CoBrA only existed about three years, but many of its members had prominent careers afterward. The group’s core figures were Dutchmen Karel Appel, Corneille and Constant, Dane Asger Jorn and Belgians Pierre Alechinsky and the poet Christian Dotremont. Dozens of other artists belonged to the group in some fashion, including Lucebert, Reinhoud and Jacques Doucet. CoBrA art combined the energy, spontaneity and painterly qualities of Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel, the subject matter and imagery of Art Brut, children’s drawings, Nordic mythology and African figuration, and Surrealism’s subconscious approach to making art. It produced an aesthetic that became a mainstay in Western European art. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Salon III: January 15- February 4, 2009

For exhibition preview, click here.
For installation images, click here.
For printmaking demonstration schedule, click here.

Étè à Saint-Christol D, 1991
Silkscreen, 5/200
30 x 40 inches
$ 900

if ART Gallery
SALON III: The Print Exhibition
January 15 – February 4, 2009

if ART Gallery
1223 Lincoln St., Columbia, S.C. 29205

Reception: Thursday, Jan. 15, 5 – 10 p.m.
Opening Hours:
Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
& by appointment

Printmaking Demonstrations:
Sunday, Jan. 18, 3 – 5 p.m., Marcelo Novo, Print Gocco
Sunday, Jan. 25, 3 – 5 p.m., Phil Garrett, Monotype
Saturday, Jan. 31, 3 – 5 p.m., H. Brown Thornton, Photo Transfer
Sunday, Feb. 1, 3 – 5 p.m., Steven Chapp, Linocut & Photopolymer Prints

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 255-0068/ (803) 238-2351 –

For its January 2009 exhibition, if ART Gallery presents Salon III, an exhibition of prints by gallery artists at if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia, S.C. The opening reception will be Thursday, January 15, 2009, 5 – 10 p.m. The exhibition will be installed salon-style at the gallery’s first floor and continues if ART’s salon-style exhibitions; in December 2008, Salon I & II took place simultaneously at the gallery and Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia.

Among the printmaking techniques represented in the exhibition are etchings, dry points, lithographs, woodcuts, linocuts, photopolymer prints, embossings, monotypes, silkscreens and photo transfers.

During the exhibition, gallery artists Steven Chapp of Easley, S.C., Phil Garrett of Greenville, S.C., Brown Thornton of Aiken, S.C., and Marcelo Novo of Columbia will give demonstrations of various printmaking techniques. For times and demonstrated techniques, see above.

Artists in the exhibition include Karel Appel, Jeri Burdick, Carl Blair, Lynn Chadwick, Steven Chapp, Corneille, Jeff Donovan, Jacques Doucet, Phil Garrett, Herbert Gentry, Tonya Gregg, John Hultberg, Richard Hunt, Sjaak Korsten, Lucebert, Reiner Mährlein, Sam Middleton, Eric Miller, Joan Mitchell, Dorothy Netherland, Marcelo Novo, Hannes Postma, Edward Rice, Anton Rooskens, Kees Salentijn, Laura Spong, Brown Thornton, Bram van Velde, Katie Walker, David Yaghjian and Paul Yanko.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Fame Factor: September 7-18, 2007



Featuring art by:

Benny Andrews (American, 1930-2006) – Karel Appel (Dutch, 1921-2006) – Lynn Chadwick (British, 1914-2003) – Corneille (Dutch, b. 1922) – Jacques Doucet (French, 1924-1994) – John Hultberg (American, 1922-2005) – Richard Hunt (American, b. 1935) – Wilfredo Lam (Cuban, 1902-1982) – Ibram Lassaw (American, 1913-2003) – Ger Lataster (Dutch, b. 1920) – Lucebert (Dutch, 1924-1994) – Sam Middleton (American, b. 1927) ¬– Joan Mitchell (American, 1925-1992) – Hannes Postma (Dutch, b. 1933) – Reinhoud (Belgian, 1928-2007) – Paul Reed (American, b. 1919) – Edward Rice (American, b. 1953) – Kees Salentijn (Dutch, b. 1947) – Virginia Scotchie (American, b. 1959) – Leo Twiggs (American, b. 1934) – Bram van Velde (Dutch, 1895-1981)

September 7 – 18, 2007

Opening Reception: Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, 5:00 – 10:00 PM

Opening Hours: Weekdays, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Sat., 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM;
Sun, 1:00 – 5:00 PM

In September, work by world-famous artists such as Joan Mitchell, Karel Appel, Lynn Chadwick, Wilfredo Lam and Bram van Velde will be in The Fame Factor, a group show at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia organized by if ART Gallery. The exhibition also will include if ART Gallery artists Leo Twiggs, Edward Rice, Kees Salentijn,Virginia Scotchie, Laura Spong and Paul Reed. The Fame Factor will explore the concept of fame, especially the relativity of fame.

The exhibition opens September 7 with a reception from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. and runs through September 18. Opening hours for Gallery 80808/Vista Studios will be expanded during the if ART exhibition. They will be weekdays, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sun, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Other American artists with national and even international reputations in the show are Richard Hunt, Benny Andrews, Ibram Lassaw, Paul Reed, John Hultberg and Sam Middleton, an American artist who has lived in the Netherlands since the early 1960s. Dutch artists with international fame in addition to Appel and Van Velde will be Corneille, Ger Lataster, Hannes Postma, Kees Salentijn and Lucebert. Furthermore, the show will present French artist Jacques Doucet and Belgian artist Reinhoud.

Reinhoud and Doucet both were part of the legendary CoBrA group of Northern European artists from the late 1940s and 1950s, which also included Appel, Corneille and Lucebert. “CoBrA” stands for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the cities or origin of most of the major figures in the group. Another artist in the show, Wilfredo Lam, a Cuban artist who had a vast international reach, exhibited once with CoBrA, in the early 1950s, though he was not a member. All of these artists are in the collections of major American museums. Dutchman Salentijn works in a post-CoBrA style.

Hunt, Lassaw, Chadwick and Reinhoud are sculptors. All will be represented in the exhibition with limited-edition lithographs. Hunt, from Chicago, is one of the country’s most famous living sculptors, in part for his many public sculptures. Lassaw was one of the main sculptors in the New York School and a core figure on the city’s 1940s-1950s Abstract Expressionist scene. Chadwick is one of the most prominent figures among British sculptors of the generation of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

Sam Middleton, born in Harlem, NY, but living in the Netherlands, is known for his collages inspired by jazz; the exhibition will show some of his silkscreens. Lataster is one of the Netherlands’ most prominent Abstract-Expressionist painters; his work is in several major American museums. Postma established a big reputation in Europe in the 1960s with his etchings and aquatints, some of which will be in the show. Bram van Velde, who spent most of life and career in Paris, is a legendary figure among mid-20th-century European abstractionists.

Hultberg was part of the New York School scene but subsequently moved to California. Andrews was from Georgia but built his career in New York City, becoming one of the country’s most prominent African-American artists, who increasingly gained traction in the wider art community. Reed was with Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis and Gene Davis among the original Washington Color Field painters of the 1960s. Mitchell is simply one of the most famous Abstract-Expressionist painters.

Twiggs, from Orangeburg, S.C., most likely is the country’s most prominent pioneer with batik as a contemporary art medium. Scotchie is a ceramist with an international reputation who teaches at the University of South Carolina. Rice, from North Augusta, S.C., is represented in many museums in the Southeast. Spong’s reputation has grown by leaps in recent years and is now among South Carolina’s best-known abstract painters.

“The idea of the show is to explore how relative fame is,” if ART Wim Roefs said. “Several feet worth of books and catalogues on Appel, and a few feet on Mitchell, don’t change the fact that among people attending this show, Laura Spong is probably better known – and she makes do with a single 32-page catalogue. Leo Twiggs also is better known here than Appel and Mitchell. Someone like Van Velde is legendary in Europe. Though he had New York gallery shows in the United States, and though his work is in many major American museums, he is at best obscure around here. In general, of course, a lot of famous European artists aren’t well-known in the United States.”

“Lassaw really was one of the major sculptors among Abstract Expressionists, but, of course, sculptors, except for David Smith, played third fiddle in the movement compared to the painters. Reed was one of six artists in the first nationally traveling exhibition of Washington Color Field painters, with Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis, and he makes the art-history books. Still, he’s mainly known among art insiders, though the renewed recent appreciation of color-field painting has giving him new exposure, too.”