Ex. Coll: Old # on canvas edge 562P; bar code from Robert Stone Gallery, New York, NY 4199087; The Rex Ashlock Trust, New York, NY until 2019
Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Rex Ashlock moved to San Francisco in the late 1930’s to pursue a career as an artist. He studied at The California School of Fine Arts. While studying at The California School of Fine Arts, the influential artist David Parks arrived to teach in 1944. Ashlock studied under him before Park pivoted to his figurative style. For a time, Ashlock taught at The California School of Fine Arts and Nathan Olivera was one of his students.
In 1957, Ashlock decamped to New York City. Living in The Village, Ashlock met and socialized with many Abstract Expressionists including Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. Mark Rothko’s work must have been on Ashlock’s mind when he painted a series of large color field paintings with an irregular rectangular center of atmospheric paint, surrounded by a “frame” of a different color in the early 1960’s. Our “Untitled”, a large 80 x 70 inches is from c. 1963.
During the 1960’s Ashlock exhibited at a number of now legendary galleries including The Bodley Gallery which was the first gallery to show Warhol’s work. Located on the Upper East Side they had a Max Ernst exhibition in 1961 and a Roberto Matta show around the same time. The Brata Gallery which opened in 1957 was located at 89 East 10th Street. It was a center for art, jazz and poetry readings by Kerouac and others. The Allan Stone Gallery, which was such an influential force in Abstract Expressionist Art, was founded in 1960. In addition to exhibiting works by Cornell, de Kooning, Gorky and Kline in those years, Rex Ashlock’s paintings were on view as well.