Russell Baldwin “Child’s Gun”

Russell Baldwin "Child's Gun"

Item: Child’s Gun

Designer/Maker: Russell W. Baldwin – One of San Diego’s most important mid-century artists, Baldwin studied at San Diego State during the late 50s with Everett Gee Jackson, Jean Swiggett, John Dirks, Martha Logenecker and Ilse Ruocco. He explored many forms of expression; painting, sculpture, drawing, ceramics and various constructed art forms and was a member of the San Diego Art Guild, the Allied Craftsmen and the Contemporary Arts Committee of the Fine Arts Society. Some of his first one-man exhibitions took place in La Jolla at the Jefferson Gallery in 1964 and the La Jolla Museum of Art in 1965. He wrote his masters thesis on sand-casting for sculpture during this period, but quickly moved on to hard-edge constructions and polychrome mixed-media works that were exhibited in La Jolla and in his 1966 one-man exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1966. He was one of San Diego’s pioneers of conceptual art, working alongside fellow artist-teachers Bob Matheny and John Baldessari who taught at Southwestern College while Baldwin taught at Palomar College. He taught for many years in the art department there and established the Boehm Gallery while just beginning at Palomar.

Description: An important work from his early 1960s sand-casting period. This piece was exhibited in Baldwin’s first one-man show at the Jefferson Gallery and was singled out by local art critic Dr. Armin Kietzmann in a review for the San Diego Union as being “concerned with representing a reality other than itself.” Using corrugated cardboard and an actual plastic toy gun, this piece is distinct from most of the other sculpture in the Jefferson show, which were more abstract, autonomous explorations of form and mass. “Child’s Gun” is a surprisingly early example of the ironic social commentary that eventually came to dominate his work. Retains partial Jefferson Gallery label (subsequently mis-dated) and is signed in pen. From the estate of Russell Baldwin.

Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 24” high

Condition: Excellent

Price: $1600

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