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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

DeWain Valentine

May 17, 2013

Colorado’s “Valentine” features a survey of work by Fort Collins native and California artist DeWain Valentine. Valentine was born in 1936 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

dv_diamond_column_blueValentine is best known for his luminous, highly polished cast resin sculptures and as a founding member of the California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He is also an important figure associated with the Finish Fetish movement. In 2011-12 his work was featured in Pacific Standard Time, a major investigation of California art, and in a related solo exhibition at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

His Triple Disk Red Metal Flake—Black Edge is prominent in the new installation of post-war American Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was featured on the cover of the New York Times last fall. While Valentine is well known in art circles, few in Fort Collins are aware of his work, his history with our city, or of his important contributions to American Art.This exhibition will celebrate the work of this Fort Collins’ native and examine his body of work in light of his
Colorado roots and how these roots have influenced the trajectory of his artistic practice.

DeWain Valentine is an American minimalist sculptor who was born in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1936. He was raised in Fort Collins and attended Fort Collins High School in the building that now houses the University Art Museum.

Often associated with the Light and Space movement in the 1960s, he is best known for his translucent glass, fiberglass and cast polyester resin sculptures having slick surfaces suggestive of machine made objects. He lives and works in Gardena, California. Valentine worked in boat shops and began to make art pieces from plastic, which he tried unsuccessfully to show in New York. Attracted by the work of artists such as Larry Bell, Craig Kauffman, and Kenneth Price, which he learned about by reading the magazine Artforum, Valentine moved to Los Angeles in 1965 and had his first solo show at Ace dv_diamondcolumn_blue
Gallery in 1968. Influenced by the seascapes and skies of Southern California, Valentine was an early pioneer of using industrial plastics and resin to produce monumental sculptures that reflect and distort the light and space that surround them. For Valentine, a smooth surface was the whole point of the work and he did not want it to look old. While he was teaching a course in plastics technology at UCLA in 1965, he wanted to produce a polyester resin in large volumes that would not crack would not crack from curing. He began working with a chemical engineer from PPG Industries Ed Revay, and eventually they discovered the Valentine MasKast Resin in 1966. The highly stable resin allowed him and other artists to go far beyond the 50-pound limit to which they had once been restricted. In 1989, Valentine designed the Governor’s Awards for the Arts, presented by the California Arts Council to artists, arts patrons and community leaders.