Arthur Monroe: Special Installation in Celebration of the exhibition at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

May 7 - June 28, 2024
  • Arthur Monroe

    Arthur Monroe

    Van Doren Waxter is pleased to present six works by Arthur Monroe. Monroe’s artistic practice is one that undergoes a thorough personal investigation which ascends the general definition of Abstract Expressionism. His approach to painting is methodical as much as it is intuitive. Monroe starts his paintings as a rectilinear grid which he uses as grounds to develop a color space. Every inch of his surfaces is covered with consciousness of color, gesture, and personal history that encompasses the New York School of Abstract Expressionism and modern Jazz and Beat circles in New York and the Bay Area. His painting process honors the physical development of paint on surface which is achieved through adding multiple layers of paint and covering up what existed before. The layers of paint worked on top of one another creates insurmountable depth of mystery–– starting a painting from a state of unknowing. In his own words, “How do you make a painting out of things you don’t know?”
  • Monroe was educated at Boy's High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Museum School Art School...

    Monroe was educated at Boy's High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Museum School Art School (BMAS). Monroe trained further in painting at the renowned Art Students League and under the private tutelage of the seminal German- American painter Hans Hofmann. During his lifetime, Monroe exhibited at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN); the Oakland Museum (Oakland, CA); the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA,); the Pasadena Museum of Art (Pasadena, CA); the University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA); the University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley, CA); the University of Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA); and the Triton Museum of Art (Santa Clara, CA). His artwork resides in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, DC); Kristiania University College (Oslo, Norway); the University of Agder (Grimstad, Norway); and the de Saisset Museum (Santa Clara, CA). His collected papers from 1950 - 2019 were acquired by the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art in 2019 and he will be the subject of a solo museum show in 2024 at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.

  • Monroe’s art grows out of a restless, philosophical quest. “I started by asking what is a painting? Do you know? Well, I don’t either. But I make paintings!” ––Kit Robinson for “A Restless, Philosophical Quest: The Art of Arthur Monroe”