Hollis Taggart Galleries is pleased to announce an exhibition of thirty-two vibrant oil paintings and collages by the artist Bob Kane. Inspired by Kane’s passion for brilliant color, these joyous works celebrate his love for the places that resonate for him and that have inspired him for decades.
Born in Cleveland in 1937, Kane studied at Cornell University and at the Art Students League. At the League, his instructors included George Grosz and Will Barnet; Barnet in particular became a lifelong friend and important mentor. The older artist’s influence is apparent in the flattened pictorial structure and simplified shapes of Kane’s still life, Big Red (1986). Positano (2002), Red (2000), and Hey Luigi (2004) also employ collapsed perspectives and lush palettes. Barnet identified Kane’s abilities from his very early efforts: “The first time I saw Bob Kane’s work, I recognized his unique talent. His painting had an energy and an explosive force.”
Kane’s unabashed love of color and its myriad possibilities take root in the tradition of Henri Matisse and continues to flourish in Kane’s work in collage. Pieces such as Boogie Woogie (1999), Night Creatures (1999), and Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1999) describe a vivid cityscape of musicians and dancers; the collages’ deep colors and deliberately riotous arrangement of figures and buildings capture the spirited nightlife of this world capital.
In addition to New York, another very important place for Kane is the Mediterranean coast of France and Italy, where he has regularly visited for forty years. Works including the large-scale Hibiscus in Front of Window, Positano (2005), Marincanto Positano Vista della Camara Undici (2005), and Positano (Marincanto) (2005) express the light, leisure, and joy Kane associates with the area. As views through a window to a cobalt sea, they pay homage to Matisse’s celebration of the south of France. But their gestural, animated brushwork, combined with their remarkably bold palettes, make the paintings—and the artistic journey—distinctively Kane’s own.
Kane’s work is appreciated by numerous patrons, including the late Edward R. Broida, whose gift of 174 paintings to the Museum of Modern Art (including two by Kane) was the largest ever to the museum. Other collectors have included Audrey Hepburn, Connie Wald, Olga Hirshhorn, Al Pacino, and Paul Benedict.