John Kacere was an abstract painter from 1950 to 1963,
but moved to a realistic style; he has been considered a
photo-realist or hyper-realist, although he has not adopted
the methodology of these schools. Since 1963, he has concentrated
on the subject of woman.
Kacere was born in 1920 in Walker, Iowa. He showed artistic
ability as a child and did his first professional sign-painting
job at age 12. Attending art school in Chicago from 1938
through 1940, he studied commercial art at first. Exposure
to fine art at the Art Institute of Chicago and other museums,
however, inspired kacere to shift the direction of his own
work to the fine arts.
At first, Kacere was especially interested in the work
of Van Gogh, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. He also cites Holbein
and Ingres as favorite artists. Before he entered the army,
Kacere held his first one-man show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Stationed in California during the war years, he began to
study the work of the European moderns: Picasso, Miro, Klee
and Matisse. Upon leaving the army, Kacere studied fine
arts at the University of Iowa. He began his teaching career
in 1950 at the Umversity of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.
Since then he has taught at the University of Florida, Arizona
State University, the Rhode Island School of Design, New
York University, the University of New Mexico, and Cooper
Union and the Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Kacere does not consider himself a photo-realist, although
his highly detailed work is sometimes called photo-or hyper-realistic.
Unlike the photo-realist painters, who work from detail
to detail of their canvases, Kacere works on all areas of
the canvas at the same time and builds up layers of paint.
Despite criticism from feminists, some of whom have labeled
his work sexist, Kacere has continued to specialize in paintings
of the female body since 1963. "Woman is the source of all
life, the source of regeneration," he has said. "My work
praises that aspect of womanhood." Kacere has had many one
man shows in New York City. He has also shown in Paris and
Hamburg, and his work has been enthusiastically received
in Europe. It is held in private collections worldwide.
As a personal aside, I was fortunate enough to have met Mr. Kacere
on several occasions and enjoyed his company. I have the highest
regards for his consumate skill as an artist. His paintings are
done in extremely large formats and no reproductions can duplicate
the experience of standing before one of his brilliant works. As
an immodest stroke to my ego, I am exhibiting his incription on
one of his books, given to me on my birthday, above.
It is with great regret that I report John's
passing away in the Summer of 2000. He will be remembered
with love and affection by all whose lives he touched.