Rick Barton

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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.

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

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

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.

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