Hassel Smith: Free Spirit

Image coming soon.

John Seed blogs about the painter Hassel Smith (1915-2007) on the occasion of an exhibition of Smith's work at Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco and the publication of a new monograph on the artist edited by Petra Giloy-Hirtz.

Seed writes: "Smith first gained notice as a representational painter in the 1940s: his works from that period have an energy and graphic insistence that predicts some of the qualities of the Bay Area Figurative style that his friend David Park would pioneer a few years later. In the 50's Smith — who was very close to Clyfford Still — developed the feisty calligraphic abstract paintings that earned him his reputation as an 'underground legend.' …The peripatetic life that followed after Smith left Los Angeles — he was back and forth between California and England for many years — combined with his constant stylistic tinkering, meant that the art world never quite managed to get a read on Smith during his lifetime."

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