Release Date: July 6, 2006
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- John Hultberg: Vanishing Point, an exhibition at UB Anderson Gallery highlighting 21 paintings and 14 graphic works from the university's permanent collection, will open to the public in the first floor gallery at 11 a.m. on July 14.
UB Anderson Gallery, located on Martha Jackson Place near Englewood and Kenmore, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission to the museum and exhibition is free.
John Hultberg (1922-2005), belonged to the generation of artists known for abstract expressionism -- a style, or attitude, which valued individuality and freedom of expression in contrast to the social realism of previous decades. Hultberg made his mark with dramatic, often dark, landscapes and interiors interspersed with recognizable imagery and grounded by an obvious horizon line. His paintings and prints take viewers through a vortex into compartmentalized apocalyptic and alien lands (often inhabited by demons or otherworldly beings), where occasional uncluttered expanses create windows into the unknown.
The Dark Room, 1957, depicts a window framed by dirty shades and wall shelves cluttered with unidentifiable debris. A multiplicity of perspectives draws the eye from the dark interior through the window to a blank landscape marked only by diagonal lines, which recede to a vanishing point on the horizon line. Several eye-levels create a dizzying effect as the viewer seeks to make sense of Hultberg's distorted point of view.
Hultberg's innovative compositions made a lasting impression on his New York City art dealer Martha Jackson, who also represented Willem de Kooning, Antoni Tàpies and Karel Appel among others. In regard to Hultberg's influence on her perspective, Jackson wrote in a publication accompanying a 1964 exhibition of his work at the Martha Jackson Gallery, "Why was I so open to new ideas?...Could it be that I have been conditioned in advance by my intimate knowledge of John Hultberg's painting?"
Also a writer and poet, Hultberg received a bachelor's degree in literature from Fresno State College in 1939 before serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946. Following his discharge from the Navy, he studied painting at the San Francisco School of Fine Art and produced black and white lithography with Richard Diebenkorn, who influenced his use of perspective. He moved to New York City in 1949 to continue study at the Art Students League and was represented by Martha Jackson (1907-1969) and following her death by her son David Anderson, from 1954 to 1980.
Hultberg's awards include First Prize Medal for Painting, Corcoran Biennial (1955), Guggenheim Fellowship for Painting (1956), National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1974), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for Painting (1988 & 1992), Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant (1993 & 1997) and the Lee Krasner Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in Art (1998). Hultberg was an instructor at the Art Students League and an exhibiting member of the National Academy of Design.
Hultberg's work is in more than 150 public collections throughout the world including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of American Art and Whitney Museum of American Art. The UB Anderson Gallery is home to the archive of his relationship with the Martha Jackson Gallery and David Anderson Gallery and his personal papers and complete writings are in the collection of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. A volume of his poetry, Sole Witness, was published in 2005.
UB Anderson Gallery is supported with funds from the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Anderson Gallery Program Fund and the UB Collection Care and Management Endowment Fund.