Robert Chuey

American (1921-1977)
Chuey was among the many American postwar artists who wrestled individual styles out of representationalism blended with abstraction. Emerging in the post-World War II era, his studies all took place in either Los Angeles or Santa Barbara: at such top institutions as Art Center School, Otis Art Institute, Jepson Art Institute and with the modernists Rico LeBrun, William Brice and Howard Warshaw. In his first exhibit in 1951 – stylized still lifes of pots and pans – he almost identifies himself as a forerunner of the Pop movement that emerged in the 1960s. Most of his career he earned his living as an art teacher at prestigious Southern California universities, but he also kept up an active schedule of painting and exhibiting. Unencumbered by a need to sell but flatteringly sought after by collectors, his style soon evolved into landscapes, figures and still lifes vaguely discerned beneath seeming abstractions of expressive brushwork. Tragically, Chuey lost his life to a drunk driver in 1977, killed near the intersection of the Hollywood Bowl.