CHARLES LITTLER: 1950s and 1960s

Littler.Untitled AbstractACME Fine Art’s first exhibition and opening reception of the 2013 Fall Season will also mark the Grand Opening of the gallery’s new location at 1 Thayer Street in Boston’s SoWa Arts District. ACME’s new street level gallery space is located at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Thayer Streets in the South End. The Opening Reception will coincide with SoWa’s regular First Friday events on Friday, 6 September 2013 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

True to the gallery’s ongoing commitment to showcase important American artists of the 20th century, the premiere exhibition in ACME Fine Art’s new gallery space will be a select group of paintings and drawings made in the 1950s and 1960s by noted Abstract Expressionist artist Charles Littler. Littler was a New York School practitioner who emerged from his studies with Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown in the early 1950s with a fully articulate and masterfully elegant mode of visual expression that won the immediate respect of his colleagues. In 1952, he, along with Jim Gahagan, founded the James Gallery on 10th Street in Manhattan. The James Gallery is noteworthy for being among the first of a number of important artists’ cooperative galleries that championed Abstract Expressionism in the early 1950s. During this period, Littler’s artwork was featured in solo exhibitions at the James Gallery and the Glidden Gallery in New York, and was also included in a number of group exhibitions at venues such as the New York Center Gallery and at the prestigious149th Annual Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1957 Littler abandoned the New York art scene and moved to Tucson Arizona, where he taught at the University of Arizona for the next twenty-six years. During this period Littler’s artwork was included in numerous group exhibitions throughout the Southwest, and he was honored with solo exhibitions at the Tuscon Art Center, the Ohio University Art Gallery, and at the University of Arizona. Littler considered his most important artistic accomplishment, however, to be the founding of a communal residential artists’ environment in Oracle Arizona called Rancho Linda Vista. To quote him, “my view of Rancho Linda Vista is that it’s a work of art, initiated by me and executed collaboratively by many members, past, present, and future.” Today –now in it’s third generation- the community that Littler initiated is still thriving.

This will be ACME Fine Art’s second solo exhibition of artwork by Charles Littler. For this exhibition, Gallery Director David Cowan has selected a group of paintings and drawings that span, not only Littler’s transition from east to west, but also demonstrate the artist’s transition from pure Abstract Expressionism to the Figurative Expressionist idiom that seems to have come naturally in conjunction with his relocation from New York to Arizona. It is likely no coincidence that while Littler’s artwork was trending figural, the Figurative Expressionist movement associated with his artist colleagues Jan Muller, Lester Johnson, George McNeil, Robert Beauchamp and Bob Thompson was emerging in avant-garde circles in New York and in Provincetown.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition: CHARLES LITTLER: 1950s and 1960s will be on view from Friday, 6 September through Saturday, 19 October 2013. New gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and by appointment. For further information about the exhibition, artist, or the gallery please call 617.585.9551 or contact us at info@acmefineart.com.