David Hare (1917 – 1992), a surrealist and abstract-expressionist sculptor and photographer, was born in New York City on March 10, 1917. Although he had no formal training in art, he began by experimenting. He took up photography in the 1930’s and by the end of the decade he was working in color. He exhibited his photographs at the Walker Galleries in New York in 1939.
Hare was closely involved with the émigré Surrealists in New York in the early 1940’s. He made his first sculpture using wire and feathers. Experimenting with plaster, wax, cast bronze and stone, Hare developed forms that were visual analogues to portmanteau words. Taking two or three objects, one of which was usually a human form, Hare combined them into a hybrid entity that revealed characteristics of all its component parts.
From 1942 to 1944 Hare founded and edited VVV, the Surrealist magazine, with Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. Peggy Guggenheim presented solo shows of Hare’s work in her Art of This Century Gallery from 1944 until 1947. His work was also shown at the Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Museum of Art. In 1948 he was a founding member, together with William Baziotes, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko, of The Subjects of the Artist school in New York.
Hare lived in Paris from 1948 to 1953 where he met Balthus, Victor Brauner, Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso. He returned to New York in 1953, but he spent the next two summers in Paris as well. Upon his return to the United States, Hare began to use steel rods melted and poured into plaster molds. In addition he made sculptures incorporating metal sprayed with a gun. Hare intensified his experimental approach, inventively devising multi-media combinations such as steel with alabaster. He began his figure and landscape series as well in which many materials interpenetrate to create connected images of rocks, plants and sky with celestial bodies.
A mythological series which Hare had begun in the late 1950’s was developed into the Cronus series of drawings, collages, paintings and sculpture which was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1977. Hare began to combine metal, Plexiglas, sand and polyurethane in his sculptures.
Hare began to concentrate on painting in the 1960’s. From the mid-1960 into the 1970’s Hare held teaching positions at the Philadelphia College of Art, the University of Oregon (Eugene) and the Tamarind Institute at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque). He was included in the Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage exhibition, 1968, at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1969 Hare received an honorary doctorate from the Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore. He was included in the American Painting of the 1970s exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.
In 1985 Hare moved to Victor, Idaho. He died in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on December 21, 1992.
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