California Dreamin': Mark Adams and Frank Lobdell

February 21 - June 5, 2016

While the work of Mark Adams (1925-2006) and Frank Lobdell (1921-2013) may not be similar in terms of subject matter, the artists share a desire to explore how pattern and color develop a composition. In addition, they both made their way to California where they spent the better part of their artistic careers producing work and teaching.

Born in Fort Plains, New York, Mark Adams formally studied painting, but first worked as a tapestry and stained-glass designer. In the 1950s, he married printmaker Beth Van Hoesen (also featured in RAM’s collection) and they settled in California. Adams eventually shifted to watercolor, printmaking, and acrylic painting as his primary forms of expression. Drawing on his experience building images with large planes of color, Adams created realistic, color-infused compositions. He favored everyday subjects, such as still lives—reflecting on items that could be both personal to him and understandable to others.

Raised in Minnesota, Frank Lobdell served in WWII then made his home in California. He was an exacting and intense figure—known to mutter the phrase, “nothing worth anything is easy.” Although primarily a painter, Lobdell also produced lithographs, etchings, and monoprints. He participated in weekly figure drawing sessions with famous San Francisco Bay area artists, including Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn (also featured in RAM’s collection), and Nathan Oliviera. Lobdell was familiar with representing the human form. After his wartime experiences, and as his career developed, he sought to explore humanity in broader terms––utilizing a “vocabulary of archetypal themes and abstract symbols.”

MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Exhibition Notes
Press Room

Mark Adams
Sunset with Palms (Hawaiian Sunset No. 2), 1979
Dyed cotton and wool, edition 3/4
Racine Art Museum,
Gift of E. Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Adams Trust
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Frank Lobdell
Kelso No. 1, 2.25.83, 1983
Color etching, edition 31/33
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Frank Lobdell Trust
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Mark Adams
Glass of Water, 1987
Color lithograph, Artist's Proof, edition 9/10
Racine Art Museum,
Gift of E. Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Adams Trust
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Frank Lobdell
Kelso No. 1, 2.25.83, 1983
Color etching, edition 30/33
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Frank Lobdell Trust
Photography: Jon Bolton
Mark Adams
Beth's Lettuce Soup, 1984
Color etching, Artist’s Proof, edition 4/5
Racine Art Museum,
Gift of E. Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Adams Trust
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Frank Lobdell
Kelso No. 76, 2.12.00, 2000
Color etching, edition 29/30
Racine Art Museum,
Gift of Frank Lobdell Trust
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
 
California Dreamin’: Mark Adams and Frank Lobdell is made possible at Racine Art Museum by: Platinum Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, SC Johnson, Windgate Charitable Foundation; Diamond Sponsor - Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation; Gold Sponsors - Herzfeld Foundation, Johnson Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, Racine Community Foundation W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Silver Sponsors - Racine County, Real Racine Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors - Burlington Graphic Systems, Inc., EC Styberg Foundation, Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Norbell Foundation, Orkney Springs Retreat, Rasmussen Diamonds, Ruud Family Foundation, Inc., Wisconsin Public Radio