May 9, 2013
Paul Fontaine: Centennial Retrospective
The Martin Museum of Art will feature a centennial celebration of American painter Paul Fontaine, June 11-28 and July 9 - August 25. Fontaine (1913-1996) began painting at age eight, attended the School of the Worcester Art Museum, and was a WPA muralist. He graduated from Yale University's School of Fine Arts and received the Winchester Wirt travelling fellowship prize in 1940. Drafted into WWII in 1943, Fontaine frequently painted semiabstract watercolors of the Italian countryside and war scenes, maintaining his commitment to a career as an artist. At the war's end he was employed by the U.S. Government as an illustrator and was transferred to Germany, where he continued his artistic career. He was dedicated to rigorously engaging composition and color. He was featured in thirty-six solo exhibitions in addition to being the only American to be accepted into the Neue Darmstädter Sezession, a prestigious juried art group founded in 1919. Fontaine remained in Germany until 1970, then immigrated to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he remained until 1992 when he decided to return to the United States and lived and painted in Austin, Texas his final four years.
Fontaine's connection to Baylor is a result of his friendship with fellow artist Willi Baumeister who was connected to Edmund Kinzinger. Kinzinger served as Baylor's Art Department chairman from 1935 to 1948. Before fleeing Nazi Germany, Kinzinger had been active in Stuttgart avant-garde circles and had cofounded the artists' society Üechte Gruppe with Willi Baumeister and Oscar Schlemmer. Although Kinzinger left Germany before Fontaine's arrival, they shared a close common friend in Baumeister.
His abstract style continued with increasingly large canvases and defiantly non-representational forms in oil, watercolor and acrylic paint, often with bold areas of color and naturalistic hues. Fontaine's work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Germany and Mexico and has spanned almost the entire 20th century. The public is cordially invited to come experience this collection of Fontaine's early realism and later abstract work.
The Martin Museum of Art is located in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center on the Baylor University campus. Hours are 10-6 Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10-7:30 on Thursday, 10-4 on Saturday, and 1-4 on Sunday. The museum is closed during university holidays. Admission is free and all events are open to the public, unless specified. For more information call 254-710-1867 or visit the museum website at www.baylor.edu/martinmuseum.
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