Billy Al Bengston
Annie W. Brigmann
Jose Luis Cuevas
Gordon Onslow Ford
F. Benedict Herzog
David Octavius Hill
Jose de Rivera
Niki de Saint Phalle
Theophile Alexandre Steinlen
George C. Tooker, Jr.
Clarence H. White
For availability of
from our 2002 exhibition.
Some words about Gordon's work by
From Personages to Radiant Beings by Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D.
Notes on Gordon
Onslow Ford |
by Herbert Palmer Gallery
Gordon Onslow Ford began his career as a Surrealist
artist in Paris. In 1938 André Breton made him an
official member of the Surrealist group. There he
worked with Matta, Tanguy, Paalen and Victor Brauner.
Onslow Ford was born in 1912 to a family of artists
in Great Britain. His early education was at the Royal
Naval College. After numerous visits to Paris he decided
to study art. He studied with Fernand Léger and André
Lhôte. He also met frequently with the writer Gertrude
When World War II broke out, he went back to England
and like many of the Surrealist who were to come to
New York, he also was invited. Since he was the only
English speaking Surrealist, he was asked to give
a series of four lectures on surrealism and automatism.
Along with the lectures, the artist created surrealist
exhibitions. Many New York painters who attended these
lectures later became the first Abstract Expressionists.
In 1941 Onslow Ford married writer Jacqueline Johnson
and together they moved to Mexico where many other
Surrealists moved during the war. There he met painter/philosopher
Wolfgang Paalen who he knew from Surrealist groups
in Paris and they became very close friends. Paalen
was creating a new publication DYN and Johnson, who
was an accomplished writer, became involved in editing
the magazine. Onslow Ford and Paalen began a new direction
from surrealism to explore the deeper layers of the
Onslow Ford continued painting in Mexico until 1947
and then moved to California. In 1948, he was invited
to give a retrospective show at the San Francisco
Museum of Art. He called the exhibit "Toward the New
Subject in Painting." There he announced his new direction
in painting, which explores the inner worlds.
Later Paalen joined Onslow Ford in California and
together with painter Lee Mullican they created an
inspiring exhibition called Dynaton (the possible)
at the San Francisco Museum of Art (1951). The exhibition
installation began with the native arts as a way to
honor the spirit of ancestors and the land.
Since 1958, Onslow Ford lived in the virgin forests
in Inverness, California. He built his home and studios
there where he worked until he passed away.