Clarence Hinkle, by Janet Blake and Susan M. Anderson and published by Laguna Art Museum, is a 176-page, full color, hard cover book with a dust jacket that accompanies the museum's summer 2012 exhibitions Clarence Hinkle and Modern Spirit and the Group of Eight. The book includes two main essays: "In Love With Painting": The Life and Art of Clarence Hinkle by Blake, and Modern Spirit: The Group of Eight and Los Angeles Art of the 1920s by Anderson; eight biographies on the Group of Eight artists; an exhibition history and chronology for Clarence Hinkle; a bibliography; and an index.
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The artist Clarence Keiser Hinkle(1880–1960) was described by one of his peers as “a man in love with painting.” Born near Sacramento, he studied art for twelve years in the East and in Europe before returning to the sunny climes of the Golden State, a setting more conducive to plein-air painting. Hinkle employed his colorful palette and bravura brushwork to capture the region’s unique landscape and atmosphere.
Janet Blake’s definitive study of Hinkle’s art and life—published in conjunction with the artist’s retrospective at Laguna Art Museum—illustrates the rich variety of his work and the range of his subject matter, as displayed in his landscapes, portraits, figure works, and still lifes. Blake reveals that Hinkle’s versatile style and personal vision were far from static, as he moved from an impressionist technique to modernist experiments with expressive brushstrokes and arresting color relationships that expressed the
spirit of the times.
Throughout his career, Hinkle exhibited frequently and developed strong ties to the art communities of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and Santa Barbara. According to the many students he inspired, among them Millard Sheets and Phil Dike, he had a boundless enthusiasm for painting and a willingness to experiment with new ideas and methods, and in 1929 was hailed as “one of the leaders among the modernists in Southern California.”
An essay by Susan M. Anderson—linked to the companion exhibition Modern Spirit and the Group of Eight— examines Hinkle within the context of the Group of Eight, who exhibited together between 1921 and 1928, one of the most fruitful periods of his career. Anderson discusses the art and culture of Los Angeles in the 1920s, touching on attitudes toward health and beauty, the New Woman, regional bohemianism, and the impact of Hollywood.
Janet Blake is the curator of collections and registrar at Laguna Art Museum and the curator of the E. Gene Crain Collection. She has organized numerous exhibitions and written extensively on early-twentieth-century California art, including such volumes as California Holiday: The E. Gene Crain Collection (2002); A Tapestry of Life: The World of Millard Sheets (2007); Collecting California: Selections from Laguna Art Museum (2009); and The Art and Life of Edwin Roscoe Shrader (2010).
Susan M. Anderson is a curator and art historian specializing in twentieth-century American art with a focus on the art of California. Among her publications are Regionalism: The California View (1988); Pursuit of the Marvelous: Stanley William Hayter, Charles Howard, Gordon Onslow Ford (1990); Roger Kuntz: The Shadow between Representation and Abstraction (2009); and Claire Falkenstein (2012). She was formerly the chief curator at Laguna Art Museum.
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