Rex Ashlock  (1918 – 1999) 

Born in Spokane, Washington in 1918, Rex Ashlock started painting seriously when he arrived in California in the late 1930s. He studied for two years at the California School of Fine Arts and later at Berkeley, where David Park in particular encouraged the expressive aspect of his work. A considerable number of ‘plein-air’ watercolors and many oils — an increasingly abstract series of Bridges come to mind — represent the years in the Bay Area.

In 1957 he moved to New York. Gottlieb, Reinhart, Rothko, and Kline were all working in ways that influenced him to experiment with Abstract Expressionism. Many of his paintings from this period investigate a broad field of a single color marked by subtle tonal changes. However, the female form continued to inspire, and his work from the 1960s included, too, a large number of nudes.

The nudes even began to come o_ the canvas as he turned to sculpture, mainly drawing on the inspiration of the female form — but he loved the color as well. Many of the figures were painted, and before other sculptors were moving in that direction.

In 1980 Rex Ashlock left New York for Spokane, first, and then San Francisco. At this point in his life, his work returns to previously established occasional interests, portraits, for example, and extends a long-time interest in the calligraphic, the idea of signs, signi_cant marks by his study of Chinese. For Rex Ashlock, art was not only a lifelong love affair, it was an ongoing search for meaning. His work is in many private collections including The Berkeley Museum of Art and The Monterey Museum of Art.