Rick Barton

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Rick Barton
San Francisco Churches.
Portfolio of linoleum block prints.
Closed: 17 1/4 x 11 7/16 inches (43.8 x 29 cm)
Gift of William and Norma Anthony. NNPM
Porpoise Bookshop, San Francisco; William Anthony. NNPM

Edition of 80.
Little is known about Barton, who appears to have been an influential figure among a small coterie of Beat artists in San Francisco in the 1950s and 60s. Raised in New York City, he received some formal art training and was a voracious autodidact. Influenced by Chinese line painting and scrolls, which he encountered on a visit to China in the 1940s, he worked primarily in ink. This is one of a number of portfolios of linoleum block prints by Barton that was printed by Henry Evans at San Francisco's Peregrine Press. Churches appear to have been some of his favorite subjects; his unique style of line drawing was particularly well-suited to the depiction of architectural detail and elaborate sculptural ornamentation. He appears to have been inspired by Byzantine icons, placing an image of the exterior of each church in the place traditionally reserved for saints.

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