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Clarence Hinkle
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California
Review by Kathy Zimmerer

The sun dappled landscapes and portraits of Clarence Hinkle were characteristic more of abstraction than of Impressionism.


Continuing through October 7, 2012


A preeminent California Impressionist whose sun dappled landscapes and portraits strongly hinted at the modernism to come, Clarence Hinkle finally receives a well deserved retrospective that links together the evolution of his painterly style. Although born in California, Hinkle studied at the Pennsyvania Academy of Fine Arts and was a respected teacher at the Chouinard School of Art. To date he was overlooked as a formative California painter. The evidence here is that his paintings started to show the breakup of form and fragmentation characteristic more of abstraction than of Impressionism. In short, his work served as a bridge between the two styles and eras. 


His portraits are also a joy to behold, and we see in this work an exquisite sense of color. "Woman in a Hammock" features his wife Mabel anchoring the composition wearing a deep red coat as filtered and faceted light surrounds her like an aureole. Other highlights include "The Treat," an engaging genre scene of his niece and nephew licking a bowl of frosting.  The luminous swirl of orange, red, and yellow of the clothes the children are wearing is topped off by the purple bowl of frosting in their hands. Their figures are enhanced by this arresting color scheme, all serving to emanate depth and character.  His landscapes of Laguna Beach are also loosely and abstractly rendered with great finesse of line and delicacy of color. The brilliant light characteristic of this seaside retreat permeates all his compositions.


Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2012

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