Robert Kaess Vintage Midcentury Abstract Painting

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Robert Kaess Vintage Midcentury Abstract Painting

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Robert Kaess Vintage Midcentury Abstract Painting
Robert Kaess (American, 1923-1991), Abstract oil painting on canvas, 1960
Emerald blue and green abstraction with musical note forms traveling through the aquamarine like space.
Fine example of the limited number of works Kaess produced during his brief but fertile career in the late fifties and early sixties.
As with so many of Kaes’s works there is the impression of deep space punctuated by singular lunar forms suggesting an interstellar landscape.
Gestural, calligraphic forms, graffiti-like in an eerily contemporary fashion-hint at cosmic events in this contemplative painterly voyage.   
Against this cosmic energy and assertive free-form brushwork is a luminous color scheme betraying the heightened sensitivity to color shared by impressionistic abstract painters of his era.
Lyrical composition hosts ethereal forms that appear to tip toe across a subconscious dreamlike terrain.  
This characteristic example of Kaess’s work calls to mind similar efforts by Gottlieb but-to an even great degree-the French abstractionist of the same period-particularly Art Informel luminaries like  Hurtung, Fautrier and Georges Mathieu with his similarly suspended events and comet like gestures.  But where Mathieu arguably succumbs to more mannered-even formulaic forms and repetition, Kaess demonstrates a more convincing, thoughtful and less predictable syntax not unlike the displaced forms dispersed in generous amounts of negative space as found in the work of his former schoolmate at UC Berkeley and roommate Sam Francis who, curiously enough participated in the art informal movement across the Atlantic before returning to the States.
Curiously Kaess’s style also appears to anticipate the more flamboyant work of graffiti artists of the nineties.
Carlson Gallery, Carmel, CA label affixed verso.
Kaess Biography:
Kaess studied at the University of California under Earle Loran, John Haley, and Margaret Petersen. He earned his B.F.A. in 1948 and an M.F.A. in 1950. In 1952, Kaess traveled to Europe to continue his art studies and painting in the countryside of Southern France.
After returning to the US, he continued painting from nature in the outdoors with "Society of Six," California impressionist painter Louis Siegriest.
He produced a good number of strong mature paintings during his short lived career.
Kaess exhibited at the 70th Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association at the San Francisco Museum of Art, 1941.  A solo exhibition in London followed as well as participation in Oakland Art Gallery Annuals and Oakland Art Festivals.
In 1960, Kaess's career as an artist was cut short with the development of an allergy to oil paint which forced him give up painting. He then returned to UC Berkeley to study medicine.
Ref: San Francisco and the Second Wave; The Blair Collection of Modern Art, Crocker Art Museum, 2004 Exhibition Art Catalogue.
Per Live Auctioneers:
“Very colorful cubist / abstract / modernist work dating to the 1950's. Robert Kaess was well associated and studied under Margaret Peterson at Berkeley.  Kaess also knew Sam Francis and Karl Kasten.  Francis and Kaess traveled in Europe at the same time.  Kaess was given a major one man show in London, England, in 1953 at the famed Arthur Toothe Gallery.  Also a pupil of Hans Hoffman.”
Condition details:
Pristine condition with conservation efforts seamless mobilized to deliver ready to hang work.
No loss, scratches, dents or discoloration to painting. Canvas is taut.
Painting further conserved and protected with newly installed heavy duty stretcher bars and braces and placed in new, meticulously constructed floating frame with subtle gold gilding to face surface.
Detailed dimensions:
27.5"ht 31.25"w 2”dp; image alone: 26”ht 29.5”w

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