Artist’s Résumé & Statement
Dr. William J. Havlicek has over 40 years of experience in fine art/studio production and exhibition, publishing, museum administration, and college teaching. He holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University and is a graduate of the University of Iowa with both Masters of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts Degrees. He currently teaches at the Laguna College of Art and Design, in Laguna Beach, California.
William Havlicek is also the author of the beautifully-produced and acclaimed book Van Gogh’s Untold Journey, now considered by many to be a seminal work on the genius that was Vincent van Gogh.
His military experiences as a psychiatric technician included a study of psychology and art therapy. With combined strengths in art history, studio art, aesthetics, philosophy, psychology, art therapy, museum education and publishing, he brings a broad range of experience to the classroom. He is recognized in his field as an innovative instructor, practicing artist, lecturer and writer. His experience in writing and publishing includes Associate Publisher for an international magazine as well as producing regular articles on art and art history. As a practicing artist, Havlicek has merited important commissions and exhibitions of his work in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad.
Driven by a vision:
“Here are beech and hemlock and poplar, straight and tall, reaching way up into the light. Under them are evergreen thickets of rhododendron. And wherever the dampness is there are mosses and ferns. The faces of the rock are intricately scalloped with veins of ironstone, scooped and carved by the wind.” ~ An Entrance to the Woods by Wendell Berry
My student years were devoted to landscape painting and drawing the human figure. I continue to be deeply influenced by the beauty of Italian Renaissance art and architecture and in particular by Michelangelo with his profound understanding of structure, drawing, and perspective. This Western outlook was augmented by a visit to Japan in 1971 and formally studying Asian landscape painting with its subtle, smoldering sensibilities. An East/West aesthetic unity emerged as the marriage of Renaissance sacred art and the poetically intuitive art of Japan. My long-standing practice of abstract painting and, in particular, abstract expressionism casts the above two traditions into the contemporary world. Finally, as a Christian, my ultimate motivation is to glorify God, the Creator of creators, by making each painting a symbol of the redemptive path.
All these streams then flow through my gestural landscapes. Wendell Berry’s quote at the top of this page could very well be a description of my paintings. My artistic influences are diverse yet rooted in evergreen and moss-softened limestone. The ochres, sap greens, teals and powder blues that haunt my palette are scoured from the dampness and light of the forest. Thus my artistic heroes each reveal painterly paths to natural vision: Courbet, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Wyeth, De Kooning, Gorky, Guston and Diebenkorn. My desire is to emulate, extend and transcend their rich artistic legacies.
~ William J. Havlicek, Ph.D.