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Galerie Sommerlath

"Oak Tree Sonoma" Expressionist Black & White Wood Block by Byron Randall

"Oak Tree Sonoma" Expressionist Black & White Wood Block by Byron Randall

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This strong image of a tree in Sonoma is a wood block by Byron Randal.
A predominantly figurative artist, Randall experimented with abstraction in the 1940s, and again in the 1980s and 1990s. Throughout his career, he produced still-life, portraits, nudes, and landscapes, in oil, watercolour, gouache, pastel, and print. He also developed plaster sculptures and three-dimensional collages on the theme of the sea (a recurrent interest). Randall''s concern for social justice ran throughout his career. It was most explicit in art from the 30s through to the 50s, such as his 1947 ''Diabolical Machines'' print (held in numerous museums), his Spanish Civil War painting (at Hallie Ford Museum), and his prints of dispossessed Jews from the ghettos of Eastern Europe (at LA Museum of the Holocaust), created from firsthand observation.
Randall''s art revels in the joyful, sensuous, and whimsical aspects of everyday life. It celebrates both male and female nudity, and the hedonistic satisfactions of leisure: surfing, drinking, dancing, lounging, and making music. From early on, Randall''s love of tools was featured in his work, animating his popular ''Philo'' oil series of West Coast barns, ploughs, and shovels. Tools and vessels often make their way into his still-life, as do nudes, who are often slyly incorporated into landscapes and still lives. Randall saw in manual labour the affirmative potential of a non-industrialised life. This led him to unsentimental, international portraits, in paint and print, of working people, as hewers of coal and wood, house painters, diggers, laundry women, cooks, carpenters, farmhands, stevedores, sellers of bread, balloons, and chickens.
Randall was an expressionist whose art was strongly responsive to the physical environment. Of his paintings, he wrote: "the look of them might have been different if I''d grown up anywhere but in Oregon. Brilliant sunlight nursing the green valleys after a long rainy winter . . . there''s a powerful bit of environment that would show in a man''s work all his life. I''ve seen that creative communication has vitality all its own. It''s not a refuge from life, but an intensification. It''s the practise of humanity. In painting, I think the approach that best affirms life is expressionism, and that''s why I became and am now an expressionist.

PERIOD: Mid-20th Century
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 17.75" Width: 20.5" Depth: 0.88"
CREATOR: Byron Randall

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