Abstract Expressionist Paintings on Canvas (Early 1960s)


"It is my belief that Abstract Expressionism is the most original and profound American art movement to date, and I am grateful that the factors of time, place, and attitude fused for me to be a young participant...

 

- Charles Strong, 1996

Rocky Mt. Quartet #1 1960 Oil on canvas 74.5" x 69.25"

 

Of his arrival at the California School of Fine Arts in 1959, Strong once remarked: "I was ready for the intuitive, painterly style when I got there.  And I was independent... we went there for the energy, to find a place where you could develop."

 

 

 San Gottardo 1960

 

The balance of intuitive sensitivity and conceptual depth can create art that glows with an internal force, art that is heroic with committment, art that is seductive in the layering of its powers. 

- Fire and Flux, An Undaunted Vision: The Art of Charles Strong

 

Harrison Street Nocturnal #1

 

Although Strong has experimented with a variety of media and technique over the years, he has remained a staunch and stubborn defender of the primacy of the object as the key to the essence of individual expression, human comprehension, and spirituality.

 

 

Harrison St. Nocturne (Swirl) 1963 Oil on canvas 70.5" x 69"

 

Strong is a well-read, widely-traveled seeker.  With references and sources from hot rods to William Blake, Pierro dell Francesca to Clyfford Still, Zuni fetishes to Francisco Goya, he responds to objects that can cut across cultural barriers, seducing the viewer with the inherent motion and emotion of their visual power.

 

Harrison St. Mural 1963 Oil on Canvas 144" x 210"

 

A deeply intuitive artist, Strong combines spontaneity with conceptual depth, relying on the paint, the interweaving areas of color, form, and texture to deliver his oration, his sermon, his song.

 

 Wharf Road Anillo 1965 Oil on canvas 69" x 68.5"

 

Strong is among those fortunate artists who early in their careers find themselves within a creative environment that suits and supports their personal vision.  It is not unlike finding the ideal life partner, a muse in the company of whom one can follow a direction that provides the opportunity for personal growth and discovery in a committed relationship over time.

 

 Wharf Road Grande Rojo 1965 Oil on canvas 64" x 78" (approx.)

 

"These paintings are going to stand... particularly when you look at what is done today. [Abstract Expressionism] has so much more weight and significance, the best examples of it.  That's not to say that something can't come along that would equal or better it, but it hasn't happened."

- Charles Strong

 

 

Wharf Road Marin Verde 1965 Oil on canvas 47.5" x 31"

 

 Wharf Road Rojo, 1965, oil on canvas, 46.5" x 36"

 

"In the best of abstract painting," Strong says, "there is a kind of drama, a weight, a sense of human existence.  It's an elusive kind of thing, and even the great artists don't get it all the time, but when you get it, the strength of the internal art makes the shape, so that the form and the meaning are interlocked."