Haynes Ownby

Haynes Ownby
1929-2001

Education:
Southern Methodist University, B.A.
Hans Hoffman School
University of Texas at Austin, M.F.A.

Awards:
Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation
Hans Hoffman Trust
Richard A. Florsheim Art Fund

Selected Exhibitions:
Dallas Museum of Fine Art, 1950, 1963
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1954
James Gallery, 1955 (solo)
Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, 1965
Laguna Gloria Art Museum, 1978 (solo)
Huntington Gallery at University of Texas, Austin, 1979
500 Exposition Gallery, Austin, 1981 (solo)
Art Center, Waco, Texas, 1984 (solo)
Copenhagen City Gallery, Denmark, 1993
Schoolhouse Center, Provincetown, 1999 (solo), 2001 (solo)
Cape Museum of Fine Arts, 2001 (retrospective)

Selected Collections:
Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Cape Cod Museum of Art

Commentary:
Haynes Ownby was a student of Hans Hoffman and spent much of his professional life in Provincetown. Born in Texas, he was attracted to Provincetown’s vibrancy and casualness. Ownby, after completing a BA in Art and English at Southern Methodist University, went to New York to study with Hans Hoffman. He was one of the original twelve members of the James Gallery and was elected treasurer in 1952. After completing his MFA at the University of Texas at Austin in 1973, Ownby moved to Provincetown year round. Unlike most Provincetown painters, his abstract style is characterized by primary colors and the use of grids of squares. He is well known for creating and exhibiting an interactive art game, Kruztrax ©. Ownby received many grants and awards during his life and was a devout Buddhist. He died at age 71 in Provincetown.

Biography:

Haynes Ownby acknowledged that his most important visual artistic influences were other artists and their work. Those he credited were: Henri Matisse – with whom he shared his date of birth and an affinity for color, Piet Mondrian –whose canvases taught him to appreciate the ability to create depth in two dimensions, Hans Hofmann –with whom he studied from 1952 to 1956, and Myron Stout –his close friend and mentor. Ownby also drew inspiration from music, and he considered rhythm to be one of the most significant and unique aspects of his work.

Ownby’s work has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, and at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. He has been the recipient of grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and the Hans Hoffman Trust. The most recent solo museum exhibition of Ownby’s work was in 2001 when the Cape Cod Museum of Art mounted a retrospective exhibition with Gregory Harper as curator.

Haynes Ownby was born in Dallas, Texas on Henri Matisse’s 60th birthday, December 31, 1929 and has worked as an artist ever since. In 1950, he “got serious about painting” and painted a number of abstract paintings one of which was accepted in the Texas Annual Competition at the Dallas Museum of Fine Art. That encouragement convinced him he was on the right track, and he showed in other shows at the Dallas Museum in 1951 to critical acclaim.
He received a B.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and studied with Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown for four years. Although it isn’t apparent in Ownby’s painting style, he regards Hofmann as the single most important influence on his life and work.
After Dallas, he lived in Manhattan and Provincetown for 5 ½ years, then Europe, Taos, back to Dallas, Manhattan again, Houston, Austin, and Provincetown.
His primary interest is abstract painting because, he says, “abstract painting does not represent another reality but is, in itself, a reality.”
Ownby is a teacher of art and has constructed art classes for the past five years at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum Art School. He says, “I go beyond color theory to concentrate on color practice, which is painting.” In the fall of 1999, he began teaching at the Provincetown International Art Institute.
Ownby’s painting is represented in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of Art, the Cape Mueum of Fine Arts, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, AT&T, and in private collections in New York, Provincetown, Truro, Boston, Florida, Ohio, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, California, and Italy. He received grants from the Florsheim Art Fund in 1996 and 1999.
In the summer of 1999, he had a one-man show at the Schoolhouse Center in Provincetown. He will show there again in the summer of 2001, and the Cape Museum of Fine Arts will have a retrospective of his work in the fall of 2001. He will show with the Bakker Gallery in Boston this fall (2000).