Born in Saint Louis, Missouri; Jack Lembeck attended Washington University in Saint Louis for two years. He earned a BFA degree from the University of Kansas. He earned a MFA degree from Yale where he worked closely with well known artists Jack Tworkov, Al Held, Lester Johnson, William Bailey, philosopher Paul Weiss and of course Bernard Chaet. By 1970 he was a full-time faculty member at Yale University and became a Morse-Stiles Fellow under Master Bart Giamatti.
In 1969 he joined a small artists co-op to become an art pioneer in the now fashionable SoHo district of New York. As a president he converted this small co-op on West Broadway into one of the earliest alternative exhibition spaces for emerging artists. His first solo exhibition there, was in 1970. It consisted of paintings influenced by his investigations and research at Yale of children's art development.
Razor Gallery (as it was renamed) was the first to exhibit such artists as Robert Colescott, Judy Pfaff, Grace Knowlton, the United Graffiti Artists(u.g.a.) and other currently popular women and minority artists. Many ideas formulated at Razor were used by Irving Sandler and NYC official Trudy Grace to develop the now famous and important Artists Space in New York.
From Razor, Lembeck launched a successful exhibition career with timely and unique work. This work was originally inspired by children's art, primitive art, graffiti and the harsh physical environment of New York. It then evolved into a synthesized art of its own. That evolution now spans more than three decades and includes environmental work, installations, collaborations with other artists as well as individual exhibitions with professional galleries and institutions.
In 1986, looking for fresh inspiration, a change of environmental pace and natural surroundings, Lembeck and family moved to their property adjacent to J.N."Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. It was near the first property they purchased in 1977. He steadily commuted and maintained studios in Florida and New York until 1990.
Florida accentuated his never ending quest for intriguing new sources and discovery. With an eye on process, Lembeck began actively pursuing his interest in marine archaeology and geology. He worked with Dr. John Gifford at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science as an archaeology research/science diver. This included extensive field work at Little Salt Spring. His interest originates from growing up in the shadow of the Mississippian mound builder sites. All of this experience plays a major role in his art. It became obvious in both the Brittle Star Park and Windscape projects.
A lingering urge to live closer to family was reinforced by the events of September 11, 2001. By Christmas of that year the Lembecks had relocated to a residence facing the Indian River Lagoon on South Tropical Trail a short distance from the Kennedy Space Center.
Soon after the move, Jack Lembeck became involved with the Brevard Museum of Art and Science and accepted the position of Director/CEO. As Museum Director he secured and accessioned historical collections such as "The Conill-Mendoza Chase Collection". And arranged notable exhibitions including "66 PIANOS Art-Case Drawings" By John Diebboll and a contemporary survey of OK Harris Gallery artists. As CEO, and working with John Diebboll as architect/planner, he introduced and encouraged the idea to merge the Museum with Florida Institute of Technology. It was then time to return to Nature - The purpose of living in Florida.
He joined the Florida Master Naturalist program. It correlated with the LANDMIND concept. He met nature photographers Vince Lamb and Charlie Corbell, and other like minded friends that had a genuine concern for their natural environment. The Master Naturalist program inspired new perspectives, approaches and techniques for enhancing LANDMIND principles.
In 2007, while looking for "Naturalist" projects Lembeck joined a group of environmentally concerned citizens to help organize and establish "Friends of Ulumay". The original leaders of the group were David Biega, Karin Biega and Barbara Venuto.
As Lembeck was researching the history of the Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary he was appointed Historical Commissioner of county district II and served on the Brevard County Historical Commission until 2011. The Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary was designated a Florida Heritage Landmark site in 2008. "Friends of Ulumay" became an inspirational component in the preservation and stewardship of the Florida natural landscape. "Friends of Ulumay"Inc. changed its name to "Preserve Brevard"Inc. in 2013. Lembeck has not been affiliated with any organizations in Brevard County since 2011.
Simultaneously with public work Jack Lembeck continued to produce and assemble a body of personal and private work inspired by a perspective of his physical surroundings. He is currently concentrating on new work that is intended to guide him to more personal discoveries.
Jack Lembeck is not represented by any dealer, gallery or agent. His work can be found in various galleries. All works on the open market have been sold at least once. (Some many times) No works are on consignment from the Artist.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond,Va. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers,NY. Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport,CT. Grand Rapids Museum of Art Miami-Dade College, Homestead, Fl. Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wi. Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY. Munson-Williams-Procter Institute Norton Center for the Arts The Currier Gallery of Art Marietta Cobb Museum of Art Fred Jones Jr. Memorial Art Center Samuel Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida Orlando Museum of Art Tampa Museum of Art Arizona State University, Tempe The Phoenix Art Museum The Philbrook Museum of Art Edwin Ulrich Museum of Art Manchester Institute of the Arts and Sciences Savannah College of Art and Design Southern Allegaenies Museum of Art Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, Ma. Erie Art Museum Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University Freeport Art Museum The Butler Museum of Art Plattsburgh Art Museum, SUNY Mobile Museum of Art Furlong Gallery, University of Wisconsin The University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque Avampato Discovery Museum Art Museum of South Texas Muscarelle Museum of Art Wiregrass Museum of Art The Midwest Museum of American Art Radford University Art Museum
(MORE PUBLIC COLLECTIONS.pdf)
| Early New York Period - SoHo - Razor |
| Yale Colleagues |
Other notable Art Conferee Lembeck met at Yale include: Knox Martin, Allan D'Arcangelo,
Larry Zox, Alfred Leslie, Nicholas Krushenick,
Milton Resnick, James Rosati, Erwin Hauer,
David von Schlegell...
And the Art critic/historian Barbara Rose...
Philip Guston, Ruben Kadish (His son Dan was a Yale student) and Willem de Kooning also visited during Jack Lembeck's tenure at Yale. They were more interested in what the students were doing than discussing their own work. Philip Guston and Alfred Leslie inspired and encouraged the young Yale artists to make radical and revolutionary change.
| Florida - Miami - Space Coast and Beyond |
| Beyond |
"If your work looks like art, it's probably someone-else's art." (Chuck Close) Speaking to students at Yale Summer School of Art, Norfolk Conn. (1971)
"Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories." ( Robert Smithson) Cultural Confinement (1972 essay)
"The best artists are those who have stood alone. And who can be separated." (Eva Hesse 1970)
"I've actually thought about cataloging my sources, but you're supposed to be coy about that: people prefer to think that ideas spring straight from the artist and not that artists are paying attention to, and learning from, the world. I learn from everywhere." (Kiki Smith -"Portraits" by Michael Kimmelman 1998)
"Primarily, what we carry around with us is a memory of our childhood, back when each day held the magic of discovering the world." (Isamu Noguchi)
"My mother used to introduce me as Richard the Artist" (Richard Serra) - No artist speaks better about the process (Drawings video)
"I've come to feel that being involved with my family helps my work and doesn't take me away from it. It deepens the work and adds to its physicality." (Elizabeth Murray -"Portraits" by Michael Kimmelman)
"Having the courage and the nerve to be the artist...and not really worry about if it is right or wrong or smart or stupid... It’s just making your art... That's the Big Thing." (Stanley Whitney)
"Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)" (Robert Rauschenberg - Erasing de Kooning)
"Abstract expressionism never meant to me an esthetic of disorder,"(Jack Tworkov)
"The work doesn't have to be a transparent vehicle for you to say things about today." (Martin Puryear) (2014-15 Exhibition Video silent) (Pavilion in The Trees)
"If you're plotting art, and trying to make something to get something, you're not in a state of creative innocence. You're not making art. You're doing something else." (Sean Scully) (Lessons learned)
"These things are all part of a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient..."(Andy Goldsworthy)
"When the illusion is lost, art is hard to find," (Kermit Davis son of Ronald Davis Defining Illusionism) - Ronald Davis is the developer and interpreter of a segment of art that Barbara Rose first referred to as “Abstract Illusionism” in a 1967 Artforum article. Barbara Rose was a visiting lecturer at Yale during Lembeck's tenure and the wife of Frank Stella
"I'm interested in the point where imaginative seeing and outside seeing meet,...( James Turrell ) And remembering childhood ..."If you find yourself in the middle of nowhere your probably somewhere near my work".
"As sunlight falls on you, you feel it. Light and color are prime movers." (Judy Pfaff video ) (Quote from Sculpture Magazine Feb.1998).
"I am an artist that values, above all, the ability of art to move me emotionally and psychically."(April Gornik)
"Art is something in the mind - not in the hand"...(Arne Glimcher to Charlie Rose) ( Agnes Martin: Arne Glimcher in conversation with Frances Morris) - Video from the Tate.
"The desire for a state of perfect repose and life eternal has always haunted mankind,"(A.Bartlett Giamatti)
"As we have entered the 21st century, we confront a new horizon of the way in which nature will interact with the urban environment,
the essence of my art reaches to inspire a dialogue with urban dwellers regarding their impact on the Earth"... (Alan Sonfist © 2013)
"We communicate to future generations what we are, what we have been; hopefully influencing what we will become." ("Reflection on Art within Society" - Maya Lin) - - ( What is Missing? ) ( What is It? )
About the Artist | Public Collections | Brittle Star | Windscape | Windscape Works | Landmind
Early Work | Jeff's Vehicles | Circles of Life | Lembeck at Yale | NYC Galleries |
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