Original vintage abstract oil painting of a horse and rider by Rex Ashlock. Oil on panel this art work is acquired from the artists Estate Trust controlled by the artists sister Margaret Wilmot. Overall size 19 x 14" in excellent condition.
The instructor who would have the most impact on Ashlock over the course of the next two years was his near-contemporary, David Park [1911-1960]. "David Park instilled, or inspired, in me the feeling of how really to look at the subject you are painting. I recall an incident in his class that was funny but also left a lasting impression on me. We were painting a female nude model directly in oil. David Park came to my easel, his eyes darting back and forth between the model and my painting. Then he exclaimed to me, "See those breasts! You've captured them just right! They're coming right at ya!'"
Park's energy and enthusiasm directly fueled Ashlock's interest in expressive painting. However, un-helped by - and unable to come to terms with - the complex emotional circumstances of his life, he would spend the next twenty years trying to find his own unique style and mode of expression. In 1940 he married a woman more sympathetic to her dreams of mysticism and social status than the down-to-earth struggles of the artist-at-work. A daughter, Margaret, was born in 1944. Family finances demanded that he take odd jobs just to make ends meet. Finally, in 1947, shortly before his son Peter was born (1948), he secured a teaching-position at the California School for Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Among his colleagues on the faculty was Richard Diebenkorn.
That year he also won the watercolor prize at the annual exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association. By 1951 he was teaching at the University of California at Berkeley's Extension Division and at the Berkeley Evening Adult School. In 1955, he returned to the California School of Fine Arts as a teacher.
. In 1957 he took advantage of an offer to ride East, packed his paintings onto the car-rack, and left his wife and two children to move to New York City.
He became friendly with many of the abstract artists of the first generation of the New York School, drinking at the Cedar Tavern with Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning [1904-1997], and Kostas the Greek, who had a photographic memory of where "every painting was to be found in every European museum." (Kostas loved to mythologize; when he told a story, it changed with every telling, as if he were constantly experimenting with new brushwork.) They were all mourning the death of Cedar-regular Jackson Pollock, who had died in 1956. Ashlock had learned of Pollock's death on his first day in New York when the headline leapt out at him on the day he arrived in New York for a summer-visit.
Ashlock's early New York works, marked by broad fields of single colors with subtle tonal changes, some characterized by moon-like shapes, others by calligraphic emblems, show the influence of leading abstract expressionists Adolph Gottlieb [1903-1974], Ad Reinhardt [1913-1967] and Mark Rothko [1903-1970]. "I never had a class in color. I studied it on my own. I bought a book by Hilaire Hiler, a San Francisco painter of small precise abstractions. He was interested in the abstract idea of color. For me it was a means to an end. I met Hiler in New York and visited with him. . . Finally, I evolved an attitude trusting my eyes."
1945 Raymond & Raymond Gallery, San Francisco (solo)
1947 San Francisco AA (at San Fran. Museum Art. Walter watercolor prize)
1948 City of Paris Gallery, San Francisco (solo)
1949 Centennials Gallery, Berkeley (solo)
1950 Larry Blake Gallery, Berkeley (solo)
1950 San Francisco AA (at San Fran. Museum Art. Drawings prize)
1953 Contemporary Gallery, Berkeley (solo)
1953-54 de Young Museum, San Francisco
1954 L. Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco (solo)
1954 Valley Art Association, Sayre, Penn. (solo)
1954 G. Paul Bishop Gallery, Berkeley (solo)
1956-57 Duveen-Abraham Gallery, New York
1957 L'Envoi Gallery, San Francisco (solo)
1957 Phoenix Gallery, New York
1958 Bleeker Gallery, New York
1960 Brata Gallery, New York
1963 Brata Gallery, New York (solo)
1962 Bodley Gallery, New York (solo)
1962 Allan Stone Gallery, New York
1967 Avnet Gallery, Great Neck, New York
1969 Staten Island Art Association
1972-73 Princeton Art Association, New Jersey
1973 Caravan House, New York
1974 Painters & Sculptors Society of New Jersey (Honorable Mention, sculpture)
1977 Bond St. Gallery, New York
1979 Painters & Sculptors Society of New Jersey (National Arts Club, New York)
1981 Mushroom Gallery, Spokane, Wash.,
1981 Touchstone Gallery, Spokane, Wash. 1981
1983 Westside Gallery, Spokane, Wash.
1984 Spokane Civic Center