Art Auction 2018 | Dan McCleary


Dan McCleary

Mixed Flowers 12.12.17
Oil on canvas, 2017
25 x 17 1/4 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Craig Krull Gallery
Value: $6,000
Starting bid: $3,000
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Dan McCleary is a Los Angeles-based artist who paints figure scenes and still lifes of a seductive beauty. During an acclaimed exhibition at the USC Fisher Museum of Art in 2015, the Los Angeles Times described him as “among the finest figurative painters working today.” He is also an avid printmaker, and his etchings are featured in the current Laguna Art Museum exhibition Dan McCleary: Prints from Oaxaca.

“I met Master Printer Fernando Sandoval in Oaxaca in 1999, and after only a few minutes in the Taller de Grabado, I knew I would return to work with him. I recognized his mastery of etching in the work he did as well as in works produced by Oaxacan artists in collaboration with Sandoval. In the United States so much of printmaking has moved away from etching to digital printing, but Fernando was using traditional methods mostly unchanged over hundreds of years that require a deep knowledge of this art form. In 2000 I went back to the Taller de Grabado to begin my first project there, and I’ve returned regularly ever since. I work with Sandoval and his assistant, Jesus Antonio, and various other printers that work in the print studio.

My first project was the series of skulls. They were based on paintings of sugar skulls I had done the year before. The sugar skulls are used during the celebration of the Day of The Dead in Mexico. On that first visit to the Taller, I brought a book with me of the complete etchings of Giorgio Morandi, the great Italian still-life painter who has always been a source of inspiration for me. I began the etchings with the intention of only using line. This is how the first two etchings are done. Fernando encouraged me to use aquatint. I decided to stop being a purist and tried it in the third print.”
—Dan McCleary

Selected collections

Armand Hammer Collection, Los Angeles
Laguna Art Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Selected exhibitions

Dan McCleary: Prints from Oaxaca, Laguna Art Museum, 2017-18
Every Day Sacred, USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 2015
New Paintings, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, 2014

>> Click here to visit the artist’s website.