John Hunter Suite: Going Hollywood

JOHN HUNTER (American. b 1934)

A legendary Suite:   (#7/20) GOING HOLLYWOOD

created in the famous Tamarind Studios* in Los Angeles.

“A Suite of 9 lithographs handprinted at Tamarind during February 1969. The editions comprise 20 numbered impressions on Arches paper, and 9 Tamarind impressions on Rives BFK paper.  All stones and plates have been effaced and the printers have been expunged.  The curators have been shipped off to Bavaria where to this day they are captives in the summer palace of the evil prince Stregoff.  The artist has been returned to a state institution.”

“GOING HOLLYWOOD  this suite is dedicated to those brave, heroic, unchicken people!! with questionable judgment they gave their all.”

The cover page contains all of the above,  plus the autographs (in the stone) of each artist involved at Tamarind, including the founder, June Wayne, and is signed in pencil and the edition number 7/20  by John Hunter.

I have found only two of these suites AVAILABLE:  this one and another in the Herbert Palmer Gallery which represents Hunter in Los Angeles .  I believe this was the very first art gallery in L.A.  It is well worth a visit.  You may become as intrigued with Hunter’s work as I have been all these years. A few years ago the artist came to L.A. for a show of his recent work. I missed it, but went soon afterward and viewed available prints and a darling little painting of a ranch which I may run over to buy if you don’t beat me to it now that I told you about it….$12,500 firm (USD) plus shipping  FedEx –price to be determined by destination.

John Hunter is in the Who’s Who of American artists and his work has been purchased by major museums (LACMA has one of these suites) and private collectors.  Although born in Pennsylvania, Hunter grew up and studied art in Southern California in the age of David Gilhooley, Ed Ruscha, Mel Ramos and that robust bunch…He continued in Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship and then went north to become a teacher/artist (like Wayne Thiebaud at UC Davis) in the art department at San Jose State University until his retirement. I began collecting his work before I knew he was teaching there, but when I learned of his tenure I immediately enrolled in a life drawing class just to meet the man himself.

 This seminal artist has remained secluded from the frantic self-promotion that occupies the major part of the life of an artist in a country where art is more trendy than eternal; however, I predict his work will rise in price, however slowly, and that he is well worth collecting. Apart from the inherent appreciation of his artwork, the sheer excitement of his palette, philosophy, wit and and subject matter will reward you richly.

If you have ever lived in Hollywood, as I do now,  then no words about this particular suite of lithographs are necessary. It was Oscar Levant who said, “When you strip off the tinsel from Hollywood, you get to the real tinsel underneath.”  Or something like that.

*I have posted some of the artist’s own words about the experience on “Literary Pages.”

d__images_P19717159Detail of very large original lithograph, Hollywood and Vine. Signed and dated by artist. Museum framing. $2,500. firm.  Maybe the last of a limited edition from the artist’s Hollywood period. Dimensions on request.