Beauty As Empathy

April 1 - May 22, 2010

Stephen Wirtz Gallery is pleased to present Beauty as Empathy, an exhibition of new paintings by Raymond Saunders.

Using previously functional objects such as doors and cupboards, Raymond covers these surfaces with black paint to subterfuge their history.  Combining these low materials into “blackboards”, he juggles brash brushwork and graffiti with his delicate drawing skills of Renaissance-based portraits and still life imagery.  Raymond’s street language and refined hand, are a subtle statement reflected in a self publication and manifesto “Black is a Color” (1967).

RAYMOND SAUNDERS was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but has lived in the Bay Area since the 1960s, completing his MFA at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1961 where he now is a professor.  Over the years Saunders has received many accolades for his work including the Prix de Rome, 1964-1966 and a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1976.  Saunders has had solo museum exhibitions at Carnegie Museum of Art, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Addison Gallery of American Art, among others.