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Decades, Paintings and Drawings, 1940-2010

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Published by Lone Star College-Kingwood Fine Art Gallery, 2016-05-24 13:24:15

Gerard Baldwin

Decades, Paintings and Drawings, 1940-2010

Keywords: art gallery,art,LSC-Kingwood,lone star college,lone star college-kingwood,gerard baldwin,decades,gerard baldwin decades

Lone Star College-Kingwood

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Gerard Baldwin

Decades

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Lone Star College–Kingwood presents

Gerard Baldwin

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DecadesFriday, Dec 17 5:30–7:30pm
Paintings and DrawingsHHHoouuorrussr::sFF:MMooFMrrooornnomm––nmooTT–rro2hhTeeruu28heiiu81nn11i1.ffn1113oo.f1aa31rrommma12rmm2.aa––1.55tta–15iioo5ppt53innommp34::nm4:
1940–2010 LLooLAnnofAeenfifrSSefmirttSamaattiarrav..teieerv2.Aedde8cAuudt1ico//ut.niKKo/3/nKEii1/nnEEi2OggnE.Owwg1Cwo5Coollo3ooeolgl4ddoeegde
Affirmative Action/EEO College

December 17–February 11

Reception/Artist Talk: 3
Friday, Dec 17 5:30–7:30pm

All are mixed media (pen, ink, Prismacolor pencil,
acrylic, and Prismacolor markers),
except where noted.

4

Gerard Baldwin

Gerard Baldwin’s formal art training came from The Chouinard
Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts), and the Institute
Allende in Mexico. David Alfaro Siqueros was one of his mentors.
Baldwin comes from an artistic clan that dates back to Felix the
Cat and Snow White.

In 1950, he began an apprenticeship at United Productions of
America, a prestigious animation studio. This apprenticeship
was interrupted by the Korean War. The Army assigned him to
the National Security Agency. Two years later he returned from
Korea and resumed his apprenticeship at UPA. Thus began a
rapid rise in the little world of animation that spans more than
fifty years.

Some of the animated films that are a showcase for Baldwin’s talent include Mr. Magoo, Bullwinkle,
George of the Jungle, Yogi Bear, the Grinch, Aladdin, the Flintstones, and the Smurfs.

During this time, Baldwin was also pursuing serious painting but one morning, while shaving, he
had the sudden realization that he was not Pablo Picasso. It was not too painful. Perhaps the
realization was a blessing because it plunged him into an intense and continuous effort to be the
best animator he could be. His first job as an animation director was in 1959 on Jay Ward’s Rocky
& Bullwinkle show. He worked on and off for the Ward Studio through 1967.

In the following decades, Baldwin went from series to series, from primetime special to primetime
special, from commercial to commercial, as a happy hired gun. He is the recipient of numerous
awards, including eight Emmy nominations and three Emmys.

In 1989, Baldwin moved to Houston where he intended to retire, but that did not happen. As a
long distance freelance director, there was less work but there was also more time to draw and
paint. “Painting,” Baldwin says, “is closer to writing poetry than it is to filmmaking. Making an
animated cartoon is a collective effort. When painting, you are quite alone, not like conducting a
symphony, but more like whistling in the dark.”

5

My Father (Pop), 1947
20 x 24 inches, mixed (oil)

6

Still Life, 1963
19 x 25 inches

7

New Snow, 1977
23 x 29 inches, ink on paper

8

The Black Sun, 1992
22 x 30 inches

9

Crossing the Border, 1992
22 x 30 inches

10

Monopoly, 1992
16 x 34 inches

11

Soul Rising, 1992
21 x 30 inches

12

Spot, the Wonderbird, 1996
20 x 26 inches

13

175 Spiders, 2006
11 x 17 inches

14

Brainstorm, 2006
11 x 17 inches

15

4th of July, 2006
11 x 17 inches

16

Freight, 2006
11 x 17 inches

17

Night Visitors, 2006
11 x 17 inches

18

Please, Don’t., 2006
11 x 17 inches

19

Roadkill, 2006
11 x 17 inches

20

Souls Rising, 2006
11 x 17 inches

21

Spiderlilly, 2006
11 x 17 inches

22

World War III, 2006
11 x 17 inches

23

I Am You and You Are Me, 2007
17 x 46 inches

24

First Church of the Paleocene, 2009
10 x 24 inches

25

Paleocene Vista, 2009
9 x 24 inches

26

Dwelling, 2010
10 x 16 inches

27

Eve, 2010
10 x 23 inches

28

The First Pyramid, 2010
10 x 24 inches

29

Impact, 2010
14 x 22 inches

30

Invention, 2010
6 x 4 inches

31

The Magic Pool, 2010
10 x 23 inches

32

Winter Solstice, 2010
10 x 23 inches

33

34

I find it hard to believe that it’s been nearly 7 years since the Kingwood College Art Gallery
honored me with a retrospective of my drawings and paintings: DECADES 1947-2003.

I’m writing this commentary early in the morning. Outside it is still dark. The high-ceilinged
walls of this room give space to thirty of my paintings. The oldest is a portrait of my father,
dated 1947.

The most recent is a self-portrait dated 2015. I look just like him.

Well over a hundred drawings and paintings fill this house and hundreds more are scattered
across the country. They display a broad spectrum of styles and a viewer might assume they
were not the work of the same hand. I sometimes wonder if they still speak to their owners or
have they become just bits of interior decoration. You can’t ask.

Most artists have a style, a graphic point of view that, over a life-time of work, never seems
to change. They are comfortable and they perfect and polish their style. A painter like John
Singer Sargent comes to mind.

Other artists, fewer in number, change their interpretation of the world many times. Pablo
Picasso is probably the most outstanding example.

With no comparison intended I also quickly tire of a particular graphic point of view or
technique. My current paintings are very, very different from how I was seeing things in 2003
and miles away from the paintings produced 65 years ago.

I clearly remember a painting that I made in Art School. I sold it to a fellow student for a few
tacos, my first sale. It was a low angle view of a brick wall. There was a full moon bisected
by a telephone pole.

As an animator I spent 60 years making still drawings come alive. This requires a tremendous
suspension of disbelief and, no doubt, this experience has influenced my paintings - but I can’t
say how nor will I try.

Someone once said to me “your stuff is all over the place.” I guess that means eclectic.
Someone else told me they saw my art as a cross between Rene Magritte and Dr. Seuss with
a dash of Disney. That’s okay by me.

What gives continuity to my art is not a graphic “style” but the repeated appearance of a few
props that might be seen as Icons: wide horizons, vast plains, distant mountains, night skies,
full moons, telephone poles, humans rarely present; always diminutive, even tiny.

I don’t feel I’m a part of the contemporary Art Scene or what Time critic Robert Hughes labeled
the “New Avantguardism,” where a picture is not worth a thousand words, but requires a
thousand words of “Art Speak” to be understood. Hopefully my stuff speaks for itself.

Gerard Baldwin, 2015

35

Credits
LSC-Kingwood Media - Jason Watson, Diana Sorenson

LSCK TV - Garrick Joubert, Edwin Brega, Dan Ko
Designs in Print - Pamela Clarke
Graphic Artist - T.C. Robson

LSC-Kingwood Fine Art Gallery
20000 Kingwood Drive

Kingwood, TX 77339-3801
Phone 281.312.1534
LoneStar.edu/Kingwood

Affirmative Action/EEO College


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