May 18, 2014


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Lot 271: Llyn Foulkes

Lot 271: Llyn Foulkes

Within Ercha

Oil, tar, and collage on canvas
Signed "foulkes" lower left and dated in Roman numerals "lx" lower center; bears the inscription "Llyn Foulkes c/o Ferus Gallery" verso; signed "FOULKES" verso
Canvas: 60" x 69"; Frame: 61" x 70"
LAMA would like to thank the artist for his assistance in cataloguing this work
Provenance: The Estate of Eudorah Moore, Pasadena, California
Exhibited: "Llyn Foulkes," The Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, February 15-March 1, 1964; "The Last Time I Saw Ferus: 1957-1966," Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, March 7-April 17, 1976
Literature: Llyn Foulkes. Exhibition Catalogue. Oakland: The Oakland Art Museum, 1964. p 53; The Last Time I Saw Ferus: 1957-1966. Exhibition Catalogue. Newport Beach: Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1976. #23.
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized: $53,125
Inventory Id: 12271

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Los Angeles artist and musician Llyn Foulkes (b. 1934) creates paintings, installations, and tableaux of biting social commentary, often utilizing a concoction of pop icons, American landscapes, and violent imagery. After serving in the Korean War, Foulkes moved to Los Angeles to attend the Chouinard Art Institute and had his first exhibition at Ferus Gallery in 1959. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, his work ranged from melancholy assemblages and skillful American landscapes to his "bloody head" portraits. During this period, Foulkes amassed international awards including the 1967 Prize for Painting at the Paris Biennale. The Hammer Museum recently exhibited Foulkes' 50-year retrospective, "LLYN FOULKES," which highlighted some of his most recent "narrative tableaux that combine painting with woodworking, found materials, and thick mounds of mixed media, seamlessly blended into the painted surface to create a remarkable illusion of depth."

In one of these early multi-layered works, Within Ercha (1960), oil, tar, and collage coalesce to depict a moment from Foulkes' own life. The abstract black figure swooping across the upper right section of the piece is Foulkes' pet raven at the time, Ercha. This is one of the first paintings inspired by his black bird, and Foulkes continued incorporating the name Ercha in other works from this era. His work has always been "intensely personal." The devastation he witnessed during his military service erupts in black swaths throughout his early paintings and have become a Foulkes emblem. In a recent interview, Foulkes said, "I never got that out of my mind, ever. I still haven't. That anybody could do anything like that to people." This painting was included in his solo show at the Oakland Art Museum in 1964 and again in "The Last Time I Saw Ferus" at the Newport Harbor Museum in 1976.

"LLYN FOULKES." Hammer Exhibitions. Hammer Museum, 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2013.
Miranda, Carolina. "Painter Llyn Foulkes Creates on the Fringes of the Art World." National Public Radio, 9 Mar. 2013. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

More Information about Eudorah Moore
Through her pioneering work for the Pasadena Art Museum (now the Norton Simon Museum), Eudorah Moore (1918-2013) organized groundbreaking exhibitions that introduced the world to California design. Her legacy began when she founded the Pasadena Art Alliance in 1954 where she soon became an instrumental figure in the arts and crafts community. She served as the curator and director of the California Design Programs of the Pasadena Art Museum, and was also the design curator from 1962-1977. Moore invited artists from every field of arts, crafts, and design, often incorporating recreational and outdoor activities such as playground sets and skateboards with Southern California's best art and design. The resulting exhibitions presented the textiles, tapestries, pottery, and furniture that comprised a distinctly Californian lifestyle. "She is one of the most important people in the history of California design," said Bill Stern, executive director of the Museum of California Design. "What was really extraordinary is that she had the ability to recognize what was important at the time it was being made." From 1978-1981, Moore served as the visual arts coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Nelson, Valerie J. "Eudorah Moore dies at 94; early ambassador for California design." Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.