Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Mendocino" Featuring New Photographs & Oil Paintings by Gaétan Caron

Gaétan Caron (artist and co-owner of Lost Art Salon): 
Collecting fine art through Lost Art Salon mixed with the intimate relationship I have with Northern California continually inspires me to work on my personal creative expression.  Photography and oil painting have proven to be my preferred ways to express my connection to the land and document the beauty of inland Mendocino. The lengthy process of one medium over the immediacy of the other strike the right balance for me. Oil paint applied to a canvas reminds me of the meditative nature of hand molding clay, my first passion within the art world, and photography allows me to capture those unique moments when seasons are traveling through their cycles setting the light in harmony with the time of the day. I use the camera to reinvigorate painting, and my photography is in return enriched by the dialogue with painting.
2012 was a continued exploration into the world of abstract photography derived from nature using a new micro lens that enables me to get really close to my chosen motifs. The colors vary from bright and rich to neutral monochromatics found in barks, lichens, fruit, flowers, branches, weeds and grasses. 2012 was also the first time I visited Paris since I took on the art of painting with oil. My biggest surprise was the attraction I felt for the works of Impressionist painter Claude Monet (whom I was familiar with, of course, but had not had the recent experience of seeing his work in person). In addition to reading all I could on Monsieur Monet, I delved deeper into art history research on landscape paintings throughout ages and studied particularly the Group of Seven (The Algonquin School from Canada), the Hudson River School, several Maine landscape artists, George Inness, William Turner, Claude Lorrain, Arthur Mathews, and the Barbizon school of French painters.
I enjoy experimenting with the results I get from the technique of layering oil thinned with turpentine combined with impasto for texture to strike a balance between abstraction and figuration.
Number nine of a rural French-Canadian family of 10, Gaétan grew up in Québec, Canada. In 1999, he immigrated to San Francisco where he co-founded Lost Art Salon while helping his life partner restore their Mendocino heritage fruit orchard that was established by Portuguese settlers at the Turn-of-the-Century. This place is the center of his inspiration, creativity and spirituality – he calls it "The Land".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Bay Area Figurative Artist Emerges

Swedish-Born Bay Area Figurative Artist, Anna Poole - 1960-2012

It's Anna's combination of hot and cool colors (evoking the clash of sun and sea) that first drew our attention. We then went on a fantastic journey through her extensive collection of works that captured a passion for the elements (water, land) and the human form. Painting after painting, the female form slowly materialized from the sea and land as if created by it and eternally fused with it. She re-imagined the classic Bay Area Figurative themes of water and bathing of Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991) with a sensual spirit and a primal energy.

Anna Poole graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1980s and set up her life and studio in San Francisco. In addition to several one-woman shows in Bodega Bay and Freestone, group shows at San Francisco's Live Worms Gallery in North Beach,  and shows in her native Sweden, Anna opened her studio to visitors annually during the city's Open Studios event. For a big part of her life she lived on a houseboat in the San Francisco Bay together with her husband, Al, and also explored the Tropical islands of Panama in their sloop sailboat.  During their many sailing trips, Poole would paint from both the boat and the beach. Sometimes she painted images directly from nature in a realistic manner reminiscent of Winslow Homer. Other times she went deep into the water, rocks and shells, often taking the smallest natural form and giving it a mysterious, sculptural presence.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gibson Bayh - The Art of a Rediscovered Fashion Designer

When we discovered the original sketches of historic San Francisco fashion designer, Gibson Bayh (1917-2007), we were struck by the artistry and glamour of these period images.

In recent years, the world’s most important museums have turned their attention to fashion. Blockbuster shows featuring the designs of Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen have drawn record-breaking crowds to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The garments and the original sketches are now recognized as highly collectible works of art and important examples of 20th Century creative innovation.
Gibson Bayh was a custom fashion designer for Gump's, San Francisco's historic destination for fashion and home goods since 1861.  He was known for his "timeless styling" of gowns, costumes, coats and pajamas. Bayh frequently used fabrics selected from Gump's famous collection of oriental art treasures. Many of the silks and brocades utilized in his designs dated back to the Boxer Rebellion (a late 19th Century proto-nationalist movement led by the Righteous Harmony Society in China). Bayh’s gowns retailed for up to $1,500 in the late 1940s and he was featured in a 1940 issue of Women’s Wear Daily.

Bayh designed fashion with a dramatic sense of Hollywood glamour, using Gump’s stunning oriental fabrics for clients such as Dinah Shore (singer and actress), Lily Pons (soprano and actress) and Anne Baxter (best known for her role in The Ten Commandments). Some of his original garments can be found in fashion museums around the world. 
All the drawings presented here are Bayh’s original signed sketches, and attached to many are the swatches for the fabrics he intended to use. Framed pieces range from $545 to $675 and can be purchased in our online shop.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Affordable and Dynamic Way to Bring Color and Zest into Your Home

In the 1970s, Dellard Cassity executed these freehand sketches using simple mediums such as ink and felt pens. At times he even used masking tape to juxtapose separate pieces of paper and create an image. This was a quick way for Cassity to graphically demonstrate an idea he would develop in more depth later (see oils further down on the artist's page). Even though these records were not intended as finished works, we loved their aesthetics and decided to present them, framing a few and turning them into art objects in their own right.


Cassity worked in a style of color field painting called “Hard-Edge Abstraction”. It became popular in California in the late 1950s and was a classical turn away from the romanticism of Abstract Expressionism. This emerging trend in abstract art employed clean lines and contrasting hues. It recalls the geometric abstraction of Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers, Ad Reinhardt and others. 

Works like these Cassity studies are an affordable and dynamic way to add color and zest to a room. It’s pieces like these that are often used by stylists from companies such as Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Target, Nordstrom and others, to create the feeling of a high-end, curated, artful environment

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Uncovering New Collections in Paris

Ahhhh Paris...a haven for artists and heaven for art collectors. During our spring trip we uncovered four diverse collections spanning the 1880s through the 1950s. Each one provides a unique glimpse into the French art scene of this period.

Our annual trips to Europe help us to further expand the Salon's extensive library of original works. And this particular trip yielded some excellent additions and reminded us why Paris has been one of the world's great art capitals for so very long.
One of the collections we discovered was the modernist work of Danielle Dilleman from the late 1950s. Dilleman was born in Paris and studied there at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. She continued her studies under the acclaimed Parisian printmaker, Johnny Friedlander. Her first exhibition of prints was in 1957 at the Maison des Beaux-Arts. Read more about Danielle Dilleman and see our complete collection of her work.

Another collection was comprised of the academic work of two artists: a father and son. The work from the 1880s by Eugene Fourault was executed at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs, and showcases the 19th Century custom of rigorously copying classical architecture, antiquities and reliefs. His son, Andre Fourault studied at the Ecole Nationale d'Arts et Metiers in the 1920s. His work handsomely reflects the many technological advancements of the new century. While not in the fine art vernacular, work like this can beautifully enhance the home or office of a collector that enjoys the studied and precise qualities of these hand-rendered drawings.

We also picked up a lovely group of abstract textile illustrations, from Lyon, circa 1886. Using ink and watercolor, the textile artist created patterns intended to repeat throughout the cloth. We hand-picked motifs that both stand alone as an abstract image and as a wonderful example of 19th century decorative arts. A series of these can make a strong statement.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alysanne McGaffey - Rediscovered Treasures and Contemporary Works

If you have been following Lost Art Salon for a while, then you have most likely encountered the work of Bay Area artist, Alysanne McGaffey (b. 1931). Over the years we have presented her 1950s-1970s work from the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Recently, a lost cache of her art from this period was discovered, and we are very excited to debut these pieces. Works from this era have been framed in period frames using archival framing techniques.

To this day, Alysanne continues to live in the Bay Area (Pacifica, CA) and is still a vibrant artist intensely dedicated to her craft. For the first time we are presenting her contemporary work from the 1990s and 2000s. For the past couple decades, Alysanne has focused on the watercolor medium, often depicting scenes of the Northern California coastal landscape. The luminous pigments and fluid lines of watercolor paints are an ideal conduit for her flowing, richly-colored aesthetic. Many of these works have been framed floating on a linen background in handsome solid maple shadow box frames.

All of the framed and ready to hang pieces from this collection can viewed and purchased online.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Michael di Cosola and Dave Fox: Made in California

Northern California artist, Michael di Cosola in his studio in the the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco (1950s)

Southern California artist, Dave Fox, in his San Pedro studio on the Los Angeles County Coast (1950s)

Northern California artist Michael di Cosola (1929 - 2010)  and Southern California artist, Dave Fox (1920-2011) are the two subjects of our current show (opening June 28th). We call the show "Made in Calfornia" because both men moved to California at pivotal moments in their personal and creative developments (di Cosola from Chicago in the 1950s and Fox from Austria during WWII). It was in California that they made the work that would define them as artists. And it was there that they experienced a powerful new freedom.

The work of di Cosola embodied the San Francisco spirit with its whimsical surrealism and flowing lines. While Fox found his inspiration in the scenes and stories of Southern California. But both artists channeled the bright, intense colors of California into their gorgeous, sunny palettes.

The full story and work of Michael di Cosola can be viewed here.

The full story and work of Dave Fox can be viewed here.

The ready to hang and display pieces by both artists can be viewed and purchased online in our New Arrivals Boutique.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase

At this year's San Francisco Decorator Showcase (running through May 28th) we are presenting a new collection of Soviet Russian Impressionist landscapes (1940s -1980s). The small scale, unique frames, and intimate atmosphere of the scenes lent themselves handsomely to various unique groupings. Above we hung a selection of pieces in a style known as a "Paris Hang". Complimenting the oils is a collection of Modernist sculptures by Dave Fox (1920-2011) . Both the paintings and sculptures can be viewed and purchased online in our New Arrivals Boutique.

The Modernist ceramic sculptures of Dave Fox were created during the final decade of his career (2000-2010) and represented a dramatic new direction for the Vienna-born artist. Here they are displayed on custom linen-wrapped plinths.

We continued the gallery design of the 3rd floor hallway with the groupings above; curating pieces based on their harmonious palettes and the forms of their frames.


Combing a variety of frames gives each arrangement a sculptural aesthetic that adds visual excitement to the hang. It's a very nice alternative to simply presenting everything in the same frame.

During the design process we gave a great deal of thought to how each grouping would look from every angle. Here a group of three Soviet Impressionist landscapes are seen through the bannister as you ascend.  

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is widely considered to be the West Coast’s premier design showhouse event, renowned for featuring the work of the region’s top interior and landscape designers. All the funds raised through the Decorator Showcase go directly to support the San Francisco University High School (UHS) Financial Aid Program. For more information on visiting the house and viewing our installation visit

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April's Guest Curator: Robert Polacek

We invited Robert Polacek, Partner at the Puccini Group, to be our first "Guest Curator". Robert was asked to select a salon-style grouping that reflects his personal taste and collecting aspirations. His group (seen above) is unified by harmonious, muted colors and modernist compositions, and we love it. Robert selected pieces by (from left): Wilhem Faulkner, Rob Delamater, Jennings TofelHelen Sewell Rennie, and Gary Lee Shaffer.

With a diploma in architecture from Catholic University of America, Robert Polacek, Chief Creative Officer and Partner at Puccini Group, heads up the concept development and design side of the company. He has helped the firm create countless sophisticated, chef-tailored, noteworthy restaurants across the globe for clients such as Jumeirah, Kimpton, Fairmont and Four Seasons among others.

Robert recently planned a San Francisco art and inspiration day for the Puccini team. Part of the day's itinerary included a visit to the Salon to educate his staff around the idea of using Lost Art Salon as a resource for their future design projects.

A New Collection of Soviet Impressionism

Many of the pieces we added to our New Arrivals Boutique in April are part of a recent acquisition of 20th Century Soviet Impressionist paintings. This realistic style was the prevailing aesthetic from roughly 1930 to 1980. During this time, the theme of landscape was considered "unnecessary and frivolous" by the Communist Party, and was discouraged because it did not actively promote the objectives of the Party. In addition, much of the cultural life in the Communist Soviet Union was denied Western exposure. As a result, landscape-oriented work was less frequently produced and, until recently, little of it has been shown outside of Eastern Europe. We took a great deal of care and pride in the framing process for these intimate oils; often using historic frames and creating custom linen mats to showcase these rare gems. You can see each piece and their details here.