Rick Barton

Image not available
Rick Barton
Ink on paper, double-sided drawing.
7 11/16 x 5 7/8 inches (19.5 x 14.9 cm)
Gift of Andrew Hoyem.

Barton was a Beat-era artist who was active in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1950s and 60s. He was an autodidact with knowledge of a wide variety of artistic styles, many of which he synthesized into his unique manner of line drawing. Although he remained largely obscure, he was well-known to a coterie of peers, some of whom he trained as line painters. This dense, double-sided drawing features many of Barton's favored motifs: male nudes, musicians, plants, café cups, hands, and feet. It also includes figures copied from Chinese paintings he found in books: Bhodhisattvas, horses, and grooms. Barton said he visited China during his Navy service in 1946-47, and he claimed the primacy of line in Chinese painting as a fundamental influence. Also included in the drawing are several portraits of David Nelson, Barton's partner at the time. Nelson was among the members of Barton's informal painting school, which Barton called the Academia Vinciana, in reference to Leonardo da Vinci.


Signed and dated on side 2, "Barton 67".

Andrew Hoyam, San Francisco (from the artist); from whom acquired by the Morgan.
Artist page: