Rick Barton

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Rick Barton
1958, 1960.
Portfolio of linoleum block prints.
17 3/8 x 14 inches (44.1 x 35.6 cm)
Gift of William and Norma Anthony.
William and Norma Anthony.

San Francisco: Printed by H. Evans at the Peregrine Press and Pub. at the Porpoise Bookshop, 1960.
Edition of 60.
Little is known about Barton, who appears to have been an influential figure among a small coterie of gay Beat artists in San Francisco in the 1950s and '60s. Raised in New York City, he was an autodidact who received no formal training in art. Influenced by Chinese line painting and scrolls, which he encountered on a visit to China in the 1940s, he worked primarily in brush and ink, always from life. This is one of a number of portfolios of linoleum block prints by Barton that were printed by Henry Evans at San Francisco's Peregrine Press. Although devoid of figures, save his own feet visible in one of the plates, the domestic and sacred spaces he depicts are animated by the objects they house. Defying rules of perspective established during the Renaissance, these vertiginous compositions offer insights into the unique vision of this enigmatic artist.

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