When considering the work of renowned artist and print-maker, director/founder of Los Angeles' Tamarind Lithography Workshop, June Wayne (1918 - 2011), the term "visionary" is almost too restrictive.
Beyond her revelatory career as an artist, Wayne served as a lightening rod for arts advocacy. She wrote extensively on women's rights and artist's rights. By virtue of her exquisitely crafted examples and her meticulous instruction via Tamarind, she championed the legitimacy of all print media, almost single handedly rescuing lithography-as-art-form from extinction. She made an Academy Award nominated documentary film (Four Stones for Kanemitsu). She lectured, she moderated panel discussions and, in the 60's, earned a Ford Foundation grant to run her very successful business. She made tapestries, paintings, and prints of every imaginable variation. Unto her last days, she was busy; she remained passionately involved with an articulation of what it felt to be human via object, word or deed. She 'threw down the gauntlet' to anyone lucky or brave enough to spend time with her. In person and via her art, she was and is a force to be reckoned with.
Early paintings explore geometric repetitions compressed and expanded to incorporate the human form. Palettes range from the glow of 3AM darkness to the neon of midday full sun. Though she celebrates the figure (Justice Series, Donald Bear Series, John Donne Series), her compositions explore the relationship / struggle between man, nature and man's nature itself. Stars explode. Night seems built of velvet. Eyeless forms scale heights (Kafka Series), behave like heroes; yet their rise and fall seems determined by the wind. A tidal wave implodes. The weave of a thumbprint blooms atop a band of sunshine yellow, a drop of blood floats above. In each artwork, questions of identity are explored and re-framed with exquisite technical invention and the great heart of a consummate artist.
Ms. Wayne' work is included in innumerable public and private collections. Louis Stern Fine Arts represents the artist exclusively.