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Bay Area Art - The Edge of Recognition

by Theo Cedar Jones

"A mood of mindless optimism swept most of the country. At the same time, an undercurrent of restless
energy - partly a by-product of the expansive national mood, but partly a more surbversive force - was
stirring beneath the surface of American culture. It would soon find articulation in what Irving Sandler
has called "the triumph of American painting." Triumph is an appropriate word. What took place
amounted to a kind of vigorous cultural muscle-flexing, an aggressive affirmation of a new and distinctly
American art, an art to fill the void left by the bankruptcy of the School of Paris, and to match the new
pre-eminence of the United States as a world power."
Thomas Albright

"The image must not be reduced to mere abstraction - or pattern only. The image must not be reduced
to mere representation - or replication of the conventionally "real" (or merely familiar). The image must
exist within the plane of meaning - between and beyond both representation and abstraction."
Adi Da Samraj "Transcendental Realism"

The Edge of Recognition is my attempt to rehabilitate and integrate the reputations of those who I call
The Stanford Six These six are Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell, Keith Boyle, Nathan Oliviera,
Warner Williams and Adi Da Samraj. These six extraordinary artists all worked or studied at
Stanford University in the period from mid-century to the present. I will argue that their contributions
are an equal in impact and originality to all of the work of the East Coast artists. But why then didnt
these West Coast abstract expressionist artists become as famous and high priced as their East Coast

1964, the year that the rock band as an artistic form was born
was also the year that painting as an artistic form "died".

It only took 19 years for American painters to go from successfully stealing the mantle of leadership in
modern art from the Europeans, to being subjected to the humiliation of the "death of painting" at the
hands of the gatekeepers of mainstream culture in America. Both Warner Williams and Adi Da Samraj
have placed the approximate date for the death of art and the death of civilization at around 1964. Rock
and roll and the Sixties were a partial counter-force to the prevailing motion of the human race toward
cultural decadence and mass self-destruction. The mainstream culture showed many signs that it would
succeed in immolating the best and the brightest of its own youth and its own culture through an
endless series of wars that at some point would inevitably escalate to a final nuclear war.

Bay Area Art during and after the Cold War years, is a story that has never been rightly or fully told. This
is my own post-Albrightian attempt to bring together some of the significant developments in Bay Area
painting during this time, to reconstruct the reputation and meaning of Bay Area Art, as an oasis of
virtuosity and innovation in the midst of an increasingly barren wasteland of dumbing down, mediocrity,
commercialism, reductionism, minimalism, brutalism, and the aesthetics of boredom.

Previous attempts at art historical justification of post-war Bay Area Art include critical lapses, such as
the idea of placing Bay Area Art under the label "Bay Area Figurative Art". To limit Bay Area Art in this
way is to perform a kind of character assassination on a young and budding cultural movement, to
confine it primarily to only one pole within its true, ambiguous, tri-polar oscillation. To place Bay Area
Art in its proper context is to understand it as a constantly omnivorous and fluctuating hybrid of three
things - figuration; abstract expressionism; and pop art. As such, Bay Area Art was and is an oasis of both
classical artistic values, and the best advances of modernism. Bay Area Art is a rich hybrid of opposites,
never stuck in one rigid academic category or market niche.

What I will argue is that the thing that sets Bay Area Art apart is not that it is primarily figurative. Bay
Area Art's greatest advances are two-fold:

1. Getting rid of the human figure in art, and

2. Dissolving the barrier between abstraction and figuration.

Frank Lobdell

It's true, that DeKooning was doing this too on the East Coast, so the West Coast is not fully unique as an
inter-tidal zone between abstraction and figuration. But the West Coast is where this hybrid form of
painting, "edge" painting, has had its fullest and greatest expression, especially in the work of painter
Warner Williams. Other examples include psychedelic rock posters and graffiti art from the same region.

DeKooning was concerned with bringing the human figure back and forth across the border between
abstraction and figuration. But Richard Diebenkorn was concerned also with bringing the impression of
the landscape back and forth across the border between abstraction and figuration. Diebenkorn went
further in this regard than any of his contemporaries.

The "failure of nerve" in the apparent confrontation between abstract expressionism and figuration is
not the lapsing back into figuration, per se, but the lapsing back into "locked space". By locked space I

mean an image where the human ego iconic reference, or the conventional foreground/background
dichotomy, dominate the image.

The images of Diebenkorn and Warner Williams both succeed best where the human figure, i.e."ego", is
absent, and instead, much of the subject matter of the image becomes the relationship between human
community (architecture) and the Earth (trees, ocean, sky, clouds, sand, bushes, agriculture, the sun and
the stars).

But there are many levels of Bay Area Art that need to have their reputations restored in order for the
full and amazing story of Bay Area Art to be told.

To place Bay Area Art in its proper context is to place Clyfford Still at the top position of influence, while
placing others, like Dave Park, Elmer Bischoff, Paul Wonner and Joan Brown in their rightful positions, on
the B-list. With the right order of the Universe restored, we can proceed sanely and productively.

Abstraction was either over-played by its defenders, or under-played by its detractors, but the larger
significance of abstraction in Bay Area Art deserves deeper consideration. One of the principal
motivations of abstraction was freedom. Abstraction freed the artists from the constraints of
conventional painting, especially these two - 1. The human figure/iconic ego reference, and 2. The
background/foreground dichotomy. Before Kandinsky and Mondrian, canvases were typically "locked"
into a landscape with a horizon line, a foreground and a backrground, and a single vanishing point. If
there are human figures in the landscape, then the canvas is doubly "locked" by the eye's tendency to
gravitate toward the human face and form, and downgrade the visual significance of everything else in
the image.

Keith Boyle

Yes, there was freedom in abstraction. But with freedom come new terrors and new responsibilities.
Was abstraction meant to be a permanent residence, or an emotional rite-of-passage that brought you
to a new world? And having mastered the methods in this new world, is the artist stuck in abstraction,
or can s/he move freely back and forth between the worlds of abstraction and figuration?

I believe that Bay Area Art until 1964 was developing into a mature and unique phase of technical and
conceptual maturity. I call this mature phase of painting "edge" painting, because it exists on the edge
between abstraction and figuration. For this phase of painting to come fully into being there must be
certain prerequisites - the region must produce for itself both great draughtsmen and women, and great
abstractionists, and those who can do both well, as well as render the various uncharted zones in

Frank Lobdell and Keith Boyle are two of the unsung heroes of Bay Area Art, who took abstraction, color
and significant form as far as any modernists of any era have done. New scholarship and exhibition is
needed for these two artists in particular, so that we can begin to regenerate a cultural response to

regional painting that is more proportionate to the stature of these artists' accomplishments. And in so
doing, we create a better foundation to justify Bay Area Art altogether.

However, the full flesh and flower of this "edge" movement in Bay Area painting cannot occur in one
decade, or two decades, but needs many decades to work out. So, it is still a young movement. And this
young movement was trampled underfoot by seemingly unstoppable explosions in the zeitgeist, like
television, rock and roll, video games, the internet and wireless devices, materialism, consumerism,
wars, cars and travel, and pornography, all competing ruthlessly for the eyeballs and the consciousness
of the masses, and leaving painting open to rhetorical attacks on its overall fitness and relevance to the
future of civilization.

Painting was brought into question after 1964, and after Warhol, by academe, and by Artforum
magazine. Market pressures, minimalism and conceptual art, were all contributing to painting's "lost
week-end"; perhaps painting, like rock and roll, was really dead. No new generations of Bay Area artists
have been able to sell work for millions of dollars at auction, the way Wayne Thiebaud, Richard
Diebenkorn, Clyfford Still and Mel Ramos have. Bay Area Art as a movement was interrupted, but not

In the early 1970's, a young painting student at Stanford University made the vital connection to the last
great generation of Bay Area painters, by falling under the influence of Frank Lobdell, Nathan Oliviera
and Keith Boyle. Warner Williams, emboldened by the hard lines and edges of Keith Boyle's work,
decided to recapitulate the forms of abstract expressionism and action painting via meticulous line.
Facing his own uphill battle against the prohibitions and taboos leveled at painting, Warner suffered as a
virtual outsider to the art world. But within this hostile atmosphere of anti-painting and the aesthetics of
boredom, Warner fused together a bold new direction for painting, incorporating major movements
from both classical art and modernism.

The Wages of Anti-Culture and Anti-Civilization

Conditions on planet Earth were becoming increasingly hostile to human culture and human life when
Bay Area Art began to emerge in the early 40's, and through its golden years, until the early 60's. JFK was
brutally assassinated in broad day light. JFK was the one who prevented us from going to WWWIII during
the cuban missile crisis. Now the cabal that killed him was in charge of the nuclear bomb and leading
humanity to the brink of nuclear war day after day, as well as plunging American youth into the meat
grinder of the Viet Nam war. Does this begin to paint a picture of why nascent art movements like
Abstract Expressionism might fall prey to the dual threats of suppression and co-optation?

America's great flowering of abstract expressionism in painting constituted a native expression of

"indigenous culture" within America, and like earlier indigenous cultures within America, it was
suppressed and wasted. Any artist committed to truth, beauty and freedom was up against a system
that had become fundamentally corrupt and bent on mass self-destruction.

The Beatles had to resort to a marginal comedy label to get signed and gain access to the music industry.
U2 was turned down by every major label, and only Bob Marley's success with Island Records and Chris
Blackwell gave them access to the music industry. Ultimately, the people, the fans voted U2 and the
Beatles into the top level of the music industry. But once there, the power cabal eventually makes them
toe the line, co-opting them, or blacklists them, or gets rid of them.

The Rolling Stones were driven out of England and France because of anti-artist and anti-rock and roll
sentiments, expressed through prohibitions against sex and drugs, and the implementation of draconian
tax laws. The Grateful Dead were driven out of San Francisco by hostile city leaders and police. The
hippies and the rockers who wore long hair were viciously persecuted all over the country, especially in
the South, during the Sixties and Seventies. This should give us a sense of context for the kind of
environment that any true artist would be facing after 1963. Isn't it a miracle that painting found a way
to survive this, and that several great artists have kept the flame of painting and image making alive in
very hostile circumstances?

The golden age of abstract expressionism in California was always met with opposition, avoidance and
hostility, and experienced a too-brief golden age of maybe 10 years. Painters were more vulnerable than
rock bands, which had the power of internal solidarity and support to resist and overcome the death
culture, and could also reproduce their work in town after town across America through live
performances, and sell high fidelity reproductions of their musical masters to fans around the world.
Painting let itself be defeated by the time of the late Sixties, whereas rock had enough tread to avoid
total decadence until around 2000. Since then, all mainstream culture has been in full decadence and
terminal materialism, except for the bright exception of the internet, and Adi Da Samraj and Warner

We have been in a kind of dark ages of materialism and the constant dread of nuclear extinction and
ecological collapse throughout this time period. Art and culture and the truly sacred must find ways to
survive any dark age. And I say that two of the great lights of our age are Adi Da Samraj and Warner
Williams - both California artists, and both from

"The Stanford School" of Bay Area Art.

Richard Diebenkorn

Impediments to the healthy flow of culture

The factors that suppress the healthy functioning of great art within society are ubiquitous. I mentioned
the suppression of hippies in the 60's and 70's - in addition, spontaneous indigenous movements like the
Black Panthers were also brutally suppressed. Beauty is anathema to the death culture, to the point
where people seem to take it for granted that anything to do with aesthetics, the feminine and the
senses is of secondary concern at best. I take the position that beauty must have its defenders against
the death culture, and that to follow beauty all the way means to defeat or overcome every single
socially constructed impediment to the balanced and harmonious flow of cultural excellence and

This means taking stock of all socially constructed impediments to cultural health, wherever we find
them, even in our local landscape.

If one were to take the landscape of Oakland as a story about how people have historically treated the
flow of culture, I would point out some things about Oakland that I believe have caused a deep and

abiding wound and disability in the healthy flow of culture there.

Oakland is a big strip of city and neighborhoods that runs North and South - this strip is bordered on the
West by the waterfront of the Bay, and it is bordered on the East by the hills and forests of the East Bay
parks. Imagine a flow of life and energy passing through this strip from one side to the other, receiving
the flow of life energy from the Ocean on one side, and the forests on the other.

But Oakland, in its twisted history of ego culture - i.e. colonialism and capitalism run amok, did a couple
of things which threw a wrench in this circuit of life energy and beauty that harm our quality of life to
this day. In the late 1800's business owners decided to cut down every single living old growth Redwood
tree in the entire East Bay - save one stunted specimen known as "The Grandfather Tree" in Leona

The Great Redwood trees in the Oakland hills were over 300 feet tall, and some were 32 feet in
diameter, larger than any living Redwood tree today. Can you imagine if they had even left 1 out of
every 100 old growth trees for future generations? Today we would have the biggest trees in the
world in Oakland's backyard, and some part of our fundamental spiritual integrity as a society would be
more intact.

On the Western side, the Port of Oakland has created an iron curtain of commercial exclusion to the
people of Oakland who want to have direct access to the waterfront, which remains completely
unaccessible for most of Oakland's coastline. The Port of Oakland has for too long strangled the flow of
energy and people in their impulse to commune with the now desecrated coastline of Oakland.

So those two simple facts about Oakland - raped old growth giants to the East, and a cement barrier of
capitalism blocking the natural coastline to the West. That is Oakland's suffering and oppression as a
landscape that colors the cultural activities of everyone who lives and creates here.

A New Balance of Power for Art and Culture in America

You have to include the "Stanford School" to get a more complete picture of Bay Are Art, and to discover
where the greatest seeds of a renaissance in Bay Area Art were growing, in the very roots of
technocratic Stanford and Silicon Valley. The center of artistic gravity at Stanford included Richard
Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell, Keith Boyle, Adi Da Samraj and Warner Williams.

The total gravity of this group shifted the balance of power away from a bi-polar Clyfford Still/West
Cosast vs. Jackson Pollock/East Coast configuration. The greatest seeds of modern art and painting are
still firmly grounded in Oakland (Warner Williams) and Northern California (Adi Da Samraj). But we must
fully engage all of the necessary forms of cultural restoration to counter the effects of the dark age of
materialism, consumerism, death culture and anti-culture. We must fully restore the reputations and
fame of Adi Da Samraj, Warner Williams, Keith Boyle and Frank Lobdell.

Some of the more well-known Bay Area artists who were perhaps not as great draughtsmen or as adept
colorists, generally resorted to a kind of decorative post-impressionism that did not have the genes to
be truly daring and original. The popular mass culture found a variety of devices to suppress or co-opt
the vital historic force of Bay Area Art. In the case of Clyfford Still, he gained some respect and visibility,
but nevertheless, when he died, 94% of his work had never been seen by the public, or, perhaps more
importantly, by other artists. This helped to neuter Still as a loose cannon leader of new generations of

The decorative post-impressionists (Park, Bischoff, Brown, et al) played their part in adding to the
reductionism of the rapidly growing decadence of popular culture by being only mediocre at color,
insufficiently inventive of forms, and tending to merely reduce the level of detail in the human face and
figure, and not give us anything to compensate for this loss, thus leading to a growing tide of diminished
expectations. The West Coast decorative post-impressionists could never compete with their East Coast
counterparts, like Rauschenberg, Newman and Johns, who sold for much higher amounts. The Bay Area
washed its hands of its own most talented painters and completely gave up any attempt, after the death
of Thomas Albright, to justify its own reputation against that of the East Coast painters.

Bay Area artists were essentially a French outpost, consisting of followers of Cezanne and Matisse (as
well as many followers of Edward Hopper) - some painters answered Cezanne's call for forms and
composition; some painters answered Matisse's call for color, flattening and simplification; and a few
answered both callings. If we are to function as a non-decadent society, we have to re-commit to these
callings and make the world of art into a true meritocracy and quality-ocracy, where the so-called
gatekeepers of culture are informed about who the best and brightest artists in the Bay Area actually
are, and spend a proportionate amount of their resources to make sure that the public is made aware of
who these artists are.

If we are to take Cezanne's calling seriously, we have to deal in a real way with the legacy of Frank
Lobdell. Much is made of the fact that Clyfford Still was so far ahead of his contemporaries that other
Bay Area painters essentially had their manhood called into question. But Frank Lobdell was a real man,
who answered this calling with as much power and invention as Clyfford Still, and with the deep

emotional darks and lights of a man who was a soldier who survived WWII. Frank Lobdell's career
suffered from the fact that he came a little later than the first golden generation of Bay Area abstract
expressionists. But I will call your attention to 3 succeeding generations of Bay Area
post-abstract-expressionist artists who I believe constitute a bona-fide Bay Area Art movement that
survived the assassination of JFK, the Viet Nam war, rock and roll, and popular culture's spiral into
terminal decadence and mass self-destruction.

Generation 2 - Frank Lobdell and Keith Boyle

Generation 3 - Warner Williams

Generation 4 - Adi Da Samraj

Warner Williams Maxfield Park

Saviors and heroes of culture from California

Warner is the first major painter to emerge from Bay Area Abstract Expressionism to be fully a part of
the rock and roll generation. Warner's paintings were created by a sensibility deeply impressed by the
Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Big Brother and the
Holding Company, Devo and the Sex Pistols, among many others. There is a preponderance of West
Coast bands that have been greatly influential to Warner as a person and an artist. But Warner and his
work have also been influenced by other cultural developments in California and the Bay Area that are
part of the overall advanced and progressive atmosphere of culture in this region.

Here is a more complete list of examples of this progressive culture from the West Coast.

Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys

Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead
Jack Kerouac
Stephen Gaskin
Allen Ginsberg
Timothy Leary
the Internet
the Doors
Alice Waters
Gertrude Stein
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Jefferson Airplane
The Black Panthers
Crosby Stills and Nash
Neil Young
Black Flag
the Minutemen
Steely Dan
Sly and the Family Stone
Psychedelic Rock Posters
Underground Comic Books
Walt Disney

All of these examples could be seen as part of Adi Da's description of modernism as a "liberating
instant", and show the West Coast as the most important place on Earth for this liberating impulse to

Adi Da Samraj


"Now there is a body of interesting fact indirectly related to those gas-chamber white walls you extol so
generously. It is one of the great stories of all time, far more meaningful and infinitely more intense and
enduring than the wars of the bull-ring, or the battlefield - or of diplomats, laboratories, or commerce.
For it was in one of those arenas some thirteen years ago that was shown one of the few truly liberating
concepts man has ever known. There I made it clear that a single stroke of paint, backed by work and a
mind that understood its potency and implications, could restore to man the freedom lost in twenty
centuries of apology and devices for subjugation."

Clyfford Still

"I believe Contemporary Art is the new academy. It's 50 years old, and it is time to move on. It's based
on a cynical and nihilistic ideology, and it has turned Art into a branch of Wall Street. I chose a 35,000
year-old tradition of painting as an alternative. I believe in sacred geometry, significant form,and the
spirit resonance of color because I have seen them. Space, light and color reactions are used as a kind of
retinal research in my work. By using multiple vanishing points I can see over many horizons. I seek the
level of poetry and music in a tightly structured whole. I want to redo Rothko from nature."

Warner Williams

"You can turn the lights out. The paintings carry their own fire."

Clyfford Still

"My paintings will glow in a closet."

Warner Williams

Art Parties - A New Distribution Network for Fine Art

I remember buying a beautiful Mark Rothko poster at the Re-Print Mint in Berkeley, when I was an
undergraduate student at Cal, and putting it up in my dorm room. I remember seeing this and other
Mark Rothko posters in the rooms of many students - somehow fine art had made its way into the hands
of those not very rich people, like students.

If you compare the path of painting in America after WWII to the development of the alternative rock
distribution system in the 80's and beyond, you see that rock had a unique survival strategy that the
world of painting would do well to emulate.

Rock created its own distribution network for recordings and printed art, and its own touring network
for performing artists. High fidelity reproductions of the musical master were produced inexpensively
and in large quantities, supplying this growing grassroots distribution and performing network. In other
words, Rock succeeded in getting high quality reproductions of art and live performances of art into the
lives of hundreds of millions of people.

America should bring together the finest examples of American painting, and make them available to
the masses in a similar manner to the one that has been so successful for Rock. One method to do this is
to take the art "on tour". Like a combination of a Rock tour and a Tupperwear party, we could host "Art
Parties" door-to-door, school-to-school, and museum-to-museum.

Here is what it would look like.

A sales team with a passion for Bay Area artists is allowed to license and use high quality digital images
of the paintings of artists like Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell, Keith Boyle and Warner
Williams, in high definition slide shows that are shown to groups of people. In addition, physical
specimens of original paintings and high quality digital reproductions by these artists are on display and
available for purchase at every Art Party. Like a rock show, participants get to experience the group high
of looking at big projections of beautiful paintings. Then they get to have the experience of "bonding"
with certain works of art, and then purchasing them as either originals or fine art reproductions.

Worthy artists now have teams of advocates touring around the country and the world, bringing Bay
Area art into the homes and institutions of art fans everywhere.

Warner Williams' recessional post-cubism
and the overcoming of the Illuminati eye

Around 1986, Warner Williams made a creative breakthrough by establishing his unique painting style
within a mature form that has continued to work with surprising consistency for over thirty years. One
key element of this breakthrough is Warner's unique compositing method of multiple vanishing points
into a single unified whole. The unification of combined perspectives is a trademark of Warner's
paintings throughout this period and to the present. This method can be seen as an important new
development in the history of cubism, so I am calling it "post-cubist".

Traditional cubism was typically constructed by the artist making visual snapshots of foreground objects
in a still-life, from multiple vantage points, and interpreting these into a kind of faceted composite of
these many views. Traditional cubism responds to still-life items, or foreground items as its subject
matter. Warner's paintings turn this principle inside-out by responding to background items, like large
vistas and horizons and landscapes, instead of objects on a table. In other words, Warner's cubism is a
compositing of multiple points of view of recessional space, whereas traditional cubism is a compositing
of multiple points of view of iconic, or foreground space.

For me as a viewer seeing Warner's works has an extraordinary effect of releasing me from the fixation
on a single vanishing point in an image. Likewise, it releases me from the feeling of being locked into a
rigid foreground/background relationship in an image. But how does this equate to being released from
the hegemony of the Illuminati eye?

The Illuminati eye is conveniently illustrated by the pyramid with an eyeball on top on the back of the
U.S. dollar bill. The single eye at the top of converging lines is an emblem of the vanishing point in forced
perspective within art and imagery. The eye represents the ego of the individual human, meditating with
cyclopean fixation upon itself. All of the lines of perspective are all forced to orient themselves to this
one single ego-eye, and no other perspective is allowed.

The single eye, heirarchically placed, is an emblem for ego, fear, and absolutism. What is required is the
restoration of the second eye. Humans possess two physical eyes; stereoscopic vision in human beings
requires a continual cognitive compositing of TWO distinct visual streams of information into a unified
and meaningful whole. In a spiritually awakened human, the third eye becomes active, and in a sense,
the human is now making a meaningful composite out of three data streams.

Interestingly, Warner's paintings often utilize found imagery from three distinct, different source
images. A conversation among three points-of-view is no longer a hegemonic image forcing us into a
single point-of-view. A harmonious integration of multiple points-of-view into a unified whole suggests
that beauty and unity are possible in this healthy conversation. This unity does not come at the expense
of any one of the points-of-view in his paintings; each point-of-view has tons of character in its own
right, and each of these characters is interacting fruitfully with those adjacent to it.

The three- and four-part structure to Warner's paintings is also suggestive of the three- and four-part
structures typical of rock songs - verse-chorus-bridge, or verse-pre-chorus-chorus- bridge - and rock
songs have certainly been a prime influence to Warner as an artist.

These are positive associations indeed - that Warner's work is connected to the structure and liberating
force of rock and roll; that Warner's work suggests the awakened sensibility of a person with three eyes
open; and the beautiful harmonizing of disparate points-of-view suggests a functional defeat of the
Illumaniti's one-perspective-or-else perspective.

Final Statement

Art World - Stop!! Take stock of the state of art in human consciousness and realize your role in the
failure of all art institutions to uphold the sacred marriage between the people and all of their best and
brightest indigenous art forms. The masses have been left to twist in the winds of unbridled materialism,
which has resulted in a shocking degradation and dumbing down in the arts in the post war modern
perdiod. The gatekeepers of culture in the art world have failed in their roles as defenders and
evangelists of all of the best and the brightest expressions of indigenous "fine art", which, in my analysis
include examples like West Coast rock bands, and West Coat painters like Frank Lobdell, Keith Boyle,
Warner Williams and Adi Da Samraj. So-called gatekeepers of culture which have fallen over themselves
to be swayed to the next ratcheting-down of human aspirations, into minimalism, commercialism,
brutalism, conceptualism, gross realism, or mere decoration, have been no friend to the defenders of
the best aspects of Renaissance and Modern technique and sensibility. Such so-called gatekeepers have
been the smug bystanders to the "death of painting", and art being constantly relegated to second-class
status in both the halls of Congress, where matters of public funding for the arts are decided, and the
halls of academia, where the arts are supposed to be grateful for the crumbs of funding left over from
the endless rat race of corporatized academia. Art in the public schools? Isn't that something with
constantly uncertain survival status? Is there any movement of people, like the worker's unions, to
represent the arts and artists against all of the relentless advances of the death culture in its drive to
grind up or prevent every spontaneous flowering of indigenous beauty?

Art world profiteers - you are part of the problem. Art for profit and art for the elite few has failed, and
the people need to take back their own inheritance of the best and brightest of indigenous art. The
people need to re-collect and restore their own best and brightest arts and culture, and re-educate
themselves and each other about the suppressed arts and cultural information.

The turnabout in human consciousness must affect all individuals in the art world, who have to atone for
their sins of complicity within the death culture's virtually unchallenged assertion of the legitimacy of
nuclear weapons, unbridled consumerism and self-interest, endless war/total war, and the ruthless
extermination of all competing ideologies about reality. The art world has stood by while pretending
that the emperor is clothed - i.e. pretending that credibility and awesome auction prices should be
flowing toward Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Ed Ruscha, Barnett Newman,
Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Richard Rauschenberg, and other poster children for encroaching cultural
decadence and mediocrity. The art world is corrupted and co-opted just the same as every other
department of power in society, whether it be military, religious, corporate, governmental, educational
or entertainment-al. This book is a statement and a stand that the old ways of power and control in the
art world, as in the rest of society, are now being challenged, and a new restoration of art and
civilization are being called forth. This book seeks to do its part to fulfill this calling by bringing attention
to what I call the "Stanford School" of Bay Area Art, and seeking to reclaim the reputations of certain
exemplary indigenous Bay Area Artists who were at Stanford University sometime after 1945, and who,
up until now, have never been seen or celebrated together as part of a suppressed but successful
cohesive indigenous Bay Area art and cultural movement.

So I suggest a multi-pronged approach to instigating a grass-roots movement to restore indigenous arts
and culture in the Bay Area.

1. Create the "Art Party" as a traveling show. Through licensing agreements, come into possession of 80
high definition slides from each of the leading artists of the Stanford School, plus samples of their
original work and fine art reproductions, for a traveling road show, to educate and sell, in iiving rooms
via digital projector, and in museums, schools, galleries, etc.

2. Create "B.A.M.M.A." - The Bay Area Museum of Modern Art. We need a new museum, preferably in
Oakland, that will be dedicated to a very full and celebratory survey of the best modern artists from the
Bay Area, with special emphasis on the Stanford School - Diebenkorn, Lobdell, Keith Boyle, Warner
Williams, and Adi Da Samraj.

3. Create movies, books and documentaries about Bay Area artists. Warner Williams and Keith Lobdell
need to have their first high level art books created. This document is meant to form the basis of a fine
art book dedicated to Warner Williams.

4. Spend $1 trillion on arts and culture in the United States.

By restoring the reputation of Warner Williams and the artists in the Stanford School, I hope to
contribute to the efforts to restore arts and culture to their rightful place in society.

Frank Lobdell

Warner Williams on his teachers.

One of the things I got from Frank Lobdell was his use of visual structuring and curves. The things he
would say when he was teaching me - he told me to slow down - I had a lot of facility, and I could do
really painterly splashy things, but he turned me away from that and slowed me down and made me
more deliberate and less arbitrary and accidental. It's the structuring in his work.

Nathan Oliviera used the figure in a recessional way, and gave me encouragement to be figurative.

Abstract painters liberated me structurally, and freed me from the tyranny of the sky. I could completely
ignore that sky and just build stuff coming from the top and the bottom and all over the place.

Keith Boyle gave me permission to use a clean line - and he was using color in a more structural way
spacially, very flat colors and very clean lines - compositionally I borrowed a lot from him, with things
coming in from the edges. I studied figure drawing with Keith Boyle.

Warner Williams Frontality Motel