(Robert) Bentley Schaad (1925-1999) is an enigmatic California artist who helped to promote the cause of Modernism in painting as Dean at what is now Otis College of Art and Design. Schaad’s career remains largely undocumented, so despite our extensive research there is still much to uncover about this influential California Modernist. We know that Schaad had a solo exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1957, which had just recently committed itself to the promotion of Modern Art.
Schaad, once a student of Henry Lee McFee at Claremont’s Graduate School, published The Realm of Contemporary Still Life Painting in 1962. Many of the more famous images from that publication will be shown in our exhibit. We have also included Harvest – one of the artist’s better known paintings – from the book The Not So Still Life.
This painting, which was generously loaned to Sullivan Goss by the Buck Collection, shows the artist’s early and continuing fascination with drapery.
Schaad focused on still life as his primary format for innovation. As his work evolved, cubist influences became increasingly visible and eventually transformed into hard-edged abstractions.
The story is told that when Schaad died, he willed his paintings to a local thrift store. Word got out and these works were quickly scattered to the four corners. Seeing this many works by the artist hasn’t been possible since then.
Sullivan Goss has assembled a group of works that demonstrate the artist’s considerable talent for an historic exhibit – the first solo show of Schaad’s work in more than forty years.
Come and help us celebrate the opening of the exhibit on January 8th at 5pm. You can also watch the AVB and let us know what you think.