February 10, 2024 - March 9, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10, 4-6 pm
Enjoy a Cone, 1965, acrylic on shaped canvas, 84 x 108 in.
Pie Projects is pleased to announce the opening of William Reynolds: Shazam! on Saturday, February 10, 2024 with a reception from 4 to 6 pm. The exhibition will honor the life and art of William Reynolds aka Captain Marble who recently passed on. The exhibition includes two large paintings exhibited at Pace Gallery in 1965, paintings from his years in the Himalayas, a selection of his Bar Code portraits, and works from a few close friend artists, such as Ron Davis, Janet Russek, David Scheinbaum, and Nancy Sutor.
Dharmkot #11, 1971, acrylic and gold leaf on board, 24 x 29 in.
Early in his career, William Reynolds was included in shows that described him as a "Color Painter," a "Post Abstract Expressionist," or a "Hard-edge Color Field Painter," but Reynolds spent his entire life in avoidance of these labels. The range and trajectory of his art bears testament to his perfection of technique, but also to a deeply personal relationship that he developed with the language of color. Reynolds was a student of Vedantic and Buddhist metaphysics, and believed in the evolution of work and the perfection of craftsmanship. Reynold’s last body of work, the Bar Code Series, represents his use of a sophisticated personal grammar associated with color - to develop descriptors for people, encounters, emotional relationships, and even an evocation to prayer. Reynold’s work as an artist was a deeply personal exploration into the spiritual balance between being, darkness, and light.
View work by William Reynolds
William Reynolds (1939 - 2023)
An Acute Sense of Beauty
by art critic and historian MaLin Wilson-Powell
There was always music playing in Bill Reynold’s Santa Fe studio. It might be Bebop. It might be Bach cello suites. Like his art, the music embodied intimacy, precision, counterpoint, and nuance, performed by maestros with delicacy and boldness. A man with many past lives and skills, Bill always needed a day job. Santa Feans knew him as Captain Marble, the purveyor of beautiful marble and granite. During his nearly fifty years in Santa Fe, Bill never exhibited his work; he kept his art making a separate, sacrosanct, personal pleasure, free from the pressures of the marketplace.
A Midwesterner by birth and upbringing, Bill was born in Hastings, Nebraska, grew up as a child in St. Louis and was a teenager in Indianapolis. At age eighteen he headed for northern California, where he studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and met simpatico classmate Ron Davis. These lifelong friends shared a studio and painted geometric canvasses in reaction to the Bay Area’s prevailing postwar gestural abstraction. When Bill saw Bridget Riley’s vibrant optical paintings, they “blew his mind.” By the mid-1960s, while he was working as a cable car brakeman, major museums and galleries were exhibiting his large, shaped, rhythmic paintings in bold, contrasting colors.
Bill moved to New York City in 1965, to a loft in the same building as John Coltrane, who practiced scales interminably. Bill didn’t mind. In 1968, he and his wife Fran left the pressure cooker of downtown Manhattan’s art world. They took a freight ship to Yugoslavia, bought a camper in Munich, and drove to India. Living in the foothills of the Himalayas, India was pivotal in Bill’s shift to art as a spiritual path. He taught art in Mumbai where he met Pie Projects co-founder Devendra Contractor, who was then age eleven. They became friends for life. In 1973, the year before Bill returned to the US, he had a solo exhibition in New Delhi of his diaphanous silver tondos. These glowing circular compositions seem to emit their own light whether alive with fluttering butterflies or pulsating skeins.
Bill and Fran settled in Santa Fe in 1974. They worked hard for decades, built a business and the home of their dreams. They retired in 2013. And, Voila! Bill had time and a studio with good light and a great sound system. After years of polishing stone, he gravitated to the velvety softness of pastel. He often called his vertical “bar code” columns of intense color on toothy black paper “portraits.” But, you don’t need to know the names of his subjects; they are stand-alone magic.
For Wayne Thiebaud. Bar Code series, pastel on paper, 30 x 16 in.
Inquire about available artwork here or call 505-372-7681