MARION PIKE, paintings

January 5 - January 26, 2018

MARION PIKE PAINTINGS

C O D A  GALLERY PRESENTS
MARION PIKE • PAINTINGS

JAN 5 - 26, 2018

 

PALM DESERT, CA — CODA Gallery presents a new exhibition of paintings by Marion Pike (1913-1998), running Jan. 5-26. An opening reception will be held 5-8 p.m. on Jan. 5 in conjunction with El Paseo Art Walk/Palm Desert First Weekend.

Palm Springs Art Museum exhibited portraits by Marion Pike in 2007. Among her subjects were Coco Chanel, Dolores Hope, Bob Hope, Alberto Giacometti, Zubin Mehta (for the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles), and other individuals of renown. Now offering works from the estate, CODA Gallery showcases the artist’s floral still lifes and landscapes.

At Stanford, Marion set university records in women’s golf and graduated with honors in Asian history. It was after college that she decided to become an artist. Consumed by faces, her portraiture in particular reflects a signature style that she called “big heads.” In 1966, Time magazine commissioned Marion to paint a portrait of Ronald Reagan for a cover story on his run for California’s governorship. The 6-by-3-foot painting hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Gallery. “They really became friends,” John Pike Jr. says of his mother and her subject. “[When Reagan was president], he was always asking her to state dinners. Once she found herself sitting between Reagan and [French President François] Mitterrand.”

Marion also formed a great bond with Dolores and Bob Hope. Frank Lloyd Wright, whom she sketched in 1948 at Taliesin West, especially appreciated her 1947 portrait of Dolores. Marion initially turned down a commission to paint Pope John Paul II because she knew he would not pose for a portrait. Then her close friend, actress Claudette Colbert, said, “I just met the pope. You must paint him.” At Bob Hope’s 80th birthday celebration, Marion told Dolores she had a present for her: “I am going to paint the pope and give it to the Vatican in your name, because you have been trying to convert me for 46 years.” Measuring 15 by 9 feet, Marion’s largest painting is one of several portraits she painted of her dear friend Coco Chanel, with whom she dined nightly while in Paris. Paintings of the fashion icon stand out as rare occasions when Marion painted a full body.

Just as she strove to capture the spirit of a person in her paintings, Marion took the same approach to floral still lifes. When Aldous Huxley suggested she try LSD, she replied, “I have been looking at the soul of a flower for two days, so I don’t need anything else.” According to John, Gerald Van der Kemp, who oversaw the late-1970s restoration of Claude Monet’s Giverny gardens, “thought mother really had genius and allowed her to come and paint in the garden where Monet painted his water lilies.” Hanging on a mirrored wall in John’s parlor so that it appears to float is a 47 ¼-by 47 ¼-inch painting of Mont Blanc that reveals Marion’s ability to look into the spirit of a place. Among her landscapes are multiple scenes of Notre-Dame, the Pont-Neuf bridge, and Venice. During summers spent at Claudette Colbert’s house in Barbados, she concentrated on clouds.

The vibrancy of Marion’s energy resonates today in the work she left behind. Perhaps she said it best herself: “Art is of no age. Art is of no time. If it’s art, it is going to live.”
 

Josette Devin Josette Devin
Oil and acrylic on masonite
1972
48 x 46 inches
 
George Cukor George Cukor, American Film Director
Acrylic on masonite
1965
47.5 x 36 inches
 
Licia Albanese Licia Albanese, Italian-American Operatic Soprano
Acrylic on masonite
47 x 36 inches
 
Iris Iris
Acrylic on canvas
c1983
38 x 25 inches
 
Lake Atitlan Guatemala Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Oil on canvas
c1987
28 x 41.5 inches
 
Ile de la Cite_ Paris Ile de la Cite, Paris
Acrylic on canvas
c1970
28 x 35 inches
 
Barbados Barbados
Acrylic on canvas
c1982
19.5 x 23 inches
 
Floral XIII Floral XIII
Acrylic on canvas
c1977
60 x 48 inches
 
Floral XII Floral XII
Acrylic on canvas
c1983
24 x 23.5 inches
 
Floral IX Floral IX
Acrylic on canvas
c1988
45.5 x 34 inches
 
Floral VIII Floral VIII
Acrylic on canvas
c1983
17 x 22 inches
 
Floral VII Floral VII
Acrylic on canvas
1979
44.5 x 57 inches
 
Floral VI Floral VI
Acrylic on canvas
c1979
50 x 60 inches
 
Floral IV Floral IV
Acrylic on canvas
c1979
63.5 x 51 inches
 
Floral II Floral II
Acrylic on canvas
c1978
51 x 52.5 inches
 
Floral I Floral I
Acrylic on canvas
c1982
31.5 x 39 inches
 
Lake Atitlan_ Guatemala Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Acrylic on canvas
c1986
13.5 x 17.5 inches
 
View from Bob Hope Home Palm Springs View from Bob Hope Home, Palm Springs
Pastel
c1986
10.25 x 13.5 inches
 
Untitled Untitled
Pastel
c1982
12.5 x 15.5 inches
 
Untitled Paris Cityscape II
Acrylic on canvas
1962-65
33.5 x 40 inches
 
Untitled Paris Cityscape I
Acrylic on canvas
1962-65
35 x 40 inches
 
Untitled Untitled
Acrylic on canvas
c1985
23 x 28 inches
 
French Countryside French Countryside
Acrylic and oil on canvas
c1976
38.5 x 46.5 inches
 
Floral XI Floral XI
Acrylic on canvas
c1984
28.5 x 36 inches
SOLD
 
Floral X Floral X
Acrylic on canvas
c1975
37 x 59 inches