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Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-80. by Thomas Albright University of California Press, Copyright 1985. typed 1july1996 378w

George Abend (1922-1976) painter. Born in New York City: attended CSFA 1946-1952, UC Berkeley, The Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. An abstract expressionist painter whose early work resembled Clyfford Still's, in the 1950s and 1960s he developed a more gestural, theatrical form of action painting, generally with an underpinning of natural forms. With Jordan Belson and Chris McLain, he was among the first visual artists to work with the environmental, light and sound program, Vortex. In the early 1970s he painted large abstract canvasses designed to be installed as room sized environments. He was active on the East Coast between 1962 and 1966, in Los Angeles between 1966 and 1969, and in Big Sur and Santa Cruz until his death. p. 257.

Jordan Belson abandoned a brief but successful career as an abstract painter to experiment with visionary abstract films--which he later raised to an unprecedented level of expression. The dancer Ann Halprin wove together extraordinary combinations of new music and impromptu theater. In a sense, everything ultimately became a form of theater. This trend achieved a Wagnerian dimension in Vortex, a series of concerts held at the Morrison Planetarium in the late 1950s, which enveloped the spectator in wall-to-wall electronic sound and overhead light effects: these were the result of a collaboration between Jordan Belson, who was responsible for visuals and Henry Jacobs, who circulated the sounds around a circle of 36 loudspeakers. p84

Jordan Belson (1926-), filmmaker and painter. Attended UC Berkeley (BA 1946). Initially an abstract expressionist painter he began to make abstract films in 1947, at first from drawings he had made on cards. His early films were conceived primarily as abstractions of form and dance, although the mystical mandala was the subject of an 1952-53 film that used animated scrolls, inked and dyed and illuminated from behind. After collaborating with Henry Jacobs on the Vortex multimedia program from 1957-59, he turned increasingly to films that used abstract optical effects and were conceived as documentaries of mystical experiences. He has been one of the Bay Area's most respected and influential makers of personal film. p. 261.

[ added 3dec96 Jacobs, Henry. Sounds of New Music. "Sonata for Loudspeakers" New York: Folkways Records, 1957. [found under reich in AMR] ]


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