James Havard (b. 1937) was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1937. When he graduated
from Houston State College in 1959 he moved east to attend the Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts. After moving New York in the 1980s, Havard focused on
large-scale, expressive paintings referencing Native American culture in his own way.
Santa was an abundant source of inspiration throughout the years. Havards way of
mixing expressionistic abstraction with indigenous symbols caught the attention of
museums throughout the country.
Havard was regarded as the avante-garde of abstract illusionism; Havards distinctive
paintings include images and text that refer to prehistoric Native American culture,
collage elements, squeezings of paint that originated from the tube, and spray painted
“shadows” that create a deception that the paint is suspended in front of the paint
surface. His work finds familiar territory with Abtract Expressionists in light of his
expressive sweeping and gestural brushes of paint. Havard is an intelligent colorist who
aptly draws powerful emotional responses from the observer.
In 1989 Havard settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work is featured in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Solomon
R. Guggenheim Museum of Art