The Art of Fred Martin
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A selection of paintings, 1955-7.
Harrison Street and the landscapes of travel.
Click here for Harrison Street 1b, Landscapes of the Imagination.
Many of these paintings are lost or unavailable.  Size and medium is given only if known.

Scroll down for the paintings, click the thumbnails for larger images.

 

 



The announcement from my show of this work
at the 6 Gallery in September 1957.

We did things cheaply in those days.  The picture postcard gallery announcements of today did not exist, and I mimeographed the text and marbelized the cards myself.  The paintings were souvenirs of my passage to the ivory tower, incontrovertible evidence of my apostasy from the thrill of the march of the avant garde.    I did not want to take any work home after the show and so offered the paintings "real cheap."  "Everybody" bought one, and even today the souvenirs of my long ago passage turn up in the art re-sale market .

*

We had come back to live in our College Avenue place in Berkeley in the summer of 1953 so we could get out of Maxwell and my public school teaching by my getting an MA at UC Berkeley.  By the fall of 1954, I had the MA and begun my job at the Oakland Art Museum.  We moved into our house on Harrison Street sometime in 1955.

I had already begun working from travel imagery--copies of engravings in old travel books, primarily the "Landscape Annuals" published in London in the 1830's with illustrations from Prout--while we were on College Avenue.  These continued during the early years on Harrison, multiplied many fold by the many, many small wooden and cardboard panels that came from working at the museum where we were perpetually making mats and cutting plywood panels for installations.

My second show at the 6 Gallery in San Francisco consisted of these--it seemed like hundred of them.  I did not want the bother of taking the paintings home after the show, and so priced them at anywhere from $0.50 to a couple of dollars.  Everyone bought one--from Elmer Bischoff and Dick Diebenkorn to then students Joan Brown and Jose Lerma  In the years after, whenever I needed a gift for a friend, one of these was so often it. Now, only a few remain.

 

 
 

 



The Landscape Annual, Spain, 1834


Seville, the Giralda Tower.
Oil on panel, approx 14 x 10 in.
Collection Jeremy Olson,
San Francisco.

 



The Landscape Annual, Italy, 1832


Rome, Castel St. Angelo
and the Tiber.
Oil on panel, approx. 12 x 14 in.
(Present location unknown)
 
 
    It was beginning then I imagined Venice the city of the senses ageing in time, and Rome the city of time's ageing in eternity.


The Landscape Annual, Italy, 1832


St. Mark's Square, Venice.
Oil on panel, approx. 12 x 16 in.
(Present location unknown)


Venice, the Lagoon.
Oil on canvas, approx. 16 x 18 in.
Coll. Stephanie Dudek,
Montreal, Canada.


Venice, the Column with the Crystal.
Oil on canvas, approx. 18x 24 in.
Coll. Mr. and Mrs. Demian Martin
San Leandro, CA.

 



And then when evening comes in Venice
January 5, 1986

 



The Venice of the islands
January 20, 1986



Venice last lesson
January 26, 1986

Click for more of the 1986 Venetian watercolors.

 


Piranesi II, Antichita Romanae
June 22, 1986

Click for more of the 1986 Roman watercolors.

 

 

 

Click the image for Harrison Street
and the landscapes of the imagination

 
 

 

Click for an extended text about this work