James Havard is a painterly prestidigitator whose sophisticated understanding of surface springs from the divergent sources of Abstract Expressionism and Renaissance illusionism. His nostalgic love of pure paint energetically dashed onto the canvas is combined with a canny use of trompe l 'oeil shadow, resulting in a tactile, yet seemingly transparent picture plane.  

Julie Stein, Art in America

The Visionary Eye of Allan Stone

Allan Stone; Allan Stone Gallery, New York, c. 1975. Images courtesy of the Allan Stone Collection


Founded in 1960 by art dealer Allan Stone (1932–2006), the New York gallery known today as Allan Stone Projects has been admired for over half a century. Celebrated for its eclectic approach and early advocacy of pivotal artists of the 20th century, Allan Stone Gallery was a leading authority on Abstract Expressionism, the New York dealer for Wayne Thiebaud for over forty years, and showed the works of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, Joseph Cornell, John Graham and John Chamberlain. Stone also promoted and collected the work of a younger generation of artists whose aesthetic tendencies were in conversation with the historical holdings in his collection. In addition to modern masterworks and contemporary art, Allan Stone also collected and exhibited international folk art, Americana and important decorative arts and industrial design.

James Havard b. 1937

James Havard first gained recognition in the 1970s for pioneering the Abstract Illusionist movement, a style of painting where forms on the picture plane were shaded to appear three-dimensional. The movement included artists such as Al Held and Allan D'Arcangelo. By the 1980s and 1990s, Havard returned to figuration, creating works inspired by Art Brut masters such as Jean Dubuffet. Richly colored, collaged and carved in encaustics, these works are raw, rudimentary and elemental, drawing inspiration from Native American, African and Caribbean tribal cultures, cave paintings and children's drawings. Havard also made mixed media box constructions offering another area of experimentation in his incredibly prolific forty-year career.

James Havard was born in 1937 in Galveston, Texas. He earned a BA from Sam Houston State College in Huntville, Texas in 1959 and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia from 1961 - 1965. During the 1960s and 1970s Havard traveled extensively throughout Europe and lived in France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and the Caribbean island of Tortola where he had a second home. He lived in New York in the 1970s and 1980s before moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico permanently in 1989. He has exhibited extensively for over forty years in the United States and Europe. His work is included in the permanent public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NY, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, Sweden, among others. He now lives in Pennsylvania.

Auction Results James Havard

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