Roger Kuntz

Roger Kuntz

1926-1975
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Although Roger Kuntz lived in La Verne, a wooded and sparsely populated area outside of Claremont, and taught at Scripps College, beginning in 1958 he spent his summers in Laguna Beach at the Cortlander cottage at Crystal Cove. Based on his sojourns there, Kuntz made a series of paintings and drawings of the porch and the cottage.
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At this time, Kuntz was actively seeking what he called “the middle ground” between representation and abstraction, utilizing an unusual approach. Always painting in series, he took each subject through several stages of careful investigation beginning with numerous sketches and small-scale studies from life. Then he created multiple versions of the same subject, which he reworked in varying iterations.
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Kuntz explored the borderlines between representation and abstraction in a number of different types of subject, looking to bring out elemental shapes that carried some kind of emotional association for the viewer. “There are, on the psychological level,” he wrote, “a number of ways of evoking responses to these forms that can range from exhilaration to a sense of brooding emptiness, expectation, mystery, downright menace, or massive playfulness.” In 1964 he moved to Laguna Beach, having left his teaching job at Claremont College and joined the faculty of the Laguna School of Art and Design. He lived and worked in Laguna until his untimely death in 1975, aged only 49.

On the Porch
Oil on canvas, c. 1958
26 1/2 x 32 inches
Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation
1980.047
San Diego
Oil on canvas, 1962-63
60 x 72 inches
Gift of Mary M. Kuntz-Cote
1991.214
Beach Culvert
Oil on canvas, 1960
40 x 50 inches
Gift of Mrs. Margaret Kuntz
1983.016
Sea Porch (Crystal Cove)
Oil on canvas, 1962
40 x 40 inches
Gift of Mrs. Michael Malone
1982.002
Double Underpass
Oil on canvas, 1961
42 x 52 inches
Gift of Dr. John B. Tully
1990.018
Blimp
Oil on canvas, 1965
48 x 46 inches
Promised gift of Nancy Dustin Wall Moure
PG.2004.001.010