Robert Kaess Abstract Painting "The Dark"

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Robert Kaess Abstract Painting "The Dark"

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Robert Kaess (1923-1991) abstract oil on canvas.
Composition in ochre, sea-foam green, and black
Artist signed and dated bottom right R. Kaess, '64

Artist title: "The Dark."
Painting conserved with new stretcher bars and placed in new floating frame of beechwood.
Detailed dimensions::
31.25"w 25.25"ht 1.75"dp; image: 30"w 24.25"ht PUR $5800
Painting conserved with new stretcher bars and placed in new floating frame of beechwood.


Fine example of the severely limited number of works Kaess produced during his brief but fertile career in the late fifties and early sixties.
The open, dark negative space punctuated by singular lunar forms suggests an interstellar landscape in which gestural calligraphic forms, graffiti like in an eerily contemporary fashion-hint at cosmic events in this otherwise 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.
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.

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