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  • Earl Kerkam

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Earl Kerkam American Artist: b. 1891-1965. Earl Kerkam abandoned a well-paid career as a commercial artist to study painting at the Rand School, the Art Student's League, and the School of Design, before moving to France to continue his studies. In Paris, he attended the Academies de la Grand Chaumiere and the Academy Colorossi from 1924 to 1929. He was in charge of the American Art Gallery in Paris for a brief period. He exhibited some of his paintings along with Andre Derrain, a member of Henri Matisse's circle, Les Fauves. Although he never experienced much fame with the general public, Kerkam garnered the respect of other artists because of his devotion to painting. He worked mostly in still life and figures, particularly in self-portraits, in part because he could seldom afford to hire models. He was very cognizant of the traditions of modern painting, so he returned consistently to the paintings of Paul Cezanne and the cubists for inspiration. However, Kerkam's paintings remained too tied to tradition, both with regard to subject matter and form, to ever be included among any of the abstract expressionists. As a result, he is rarely mentioned in discussions of the period. Earl Cavis Kerkam, according to Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Mark Rothko, George Spaventa and Esteban Vicente “was one of the finest painters to come out of America.” Gerald Norland wrote at the Earl Kerkam Memorial Exhibition in 1966: ”A painter of enormous poetic awareness, self-directed, almost totally without direct influence, he stands as an original American artist in the best sense.” Earl Kerkam died on January 12, 1965 in New York City. Listings wanted.

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