For all of his success as a conceptual artist, Stephen Kaltenbach is well- known in the Sacramento region for “Portrait of My Father”, a favorite of visitors to the Crocker Art Museum, where the work is part of the permanent collection. In a California barn, the artist labored for seven years over this testament to life, love, and the loss confronting us all. That his pursuit was spiritual is evident in the manner by which light and color permeates each intertwining arabesque and intersection with whisker, brow, and pore. The subject is returning to the light from which he came in a vision of infinity and the rightness of nature. While a photograph provided its basis, this portrait is far removed from the cool detachment of the Photorealists due to Kaltenbach’s prolonged engagement. Kaltenbach’s sole aim was to celebrate the human bond and make a memorial to his father that only he could create.
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[Stephen J. Kaltenbach, Portrait of my Father, 1972-79]
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Shared by crockerart (Crocker Art Museum) and selected for Art.