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"Art is a Mode of Being... Language and craft are functional limitations."
( Jack Lembeck 1970, Yale, Introduction to Design )
What alligator? - - In deep during species diversity study.
Jack Lembeck - A Work in Progress
Ratio decidendi est illuminare
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.
He can be contacted directly anytime by email at email@example.com
Selected Public Collections
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC.
Radford University Art Museum
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.
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY.
Norton Center for the Arts
The Currier Gallery of Art
Marietta Cobb Museum of Art
Fred Jones Jr. Memorial Art Center
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
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wi.
Samuel Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida
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
San Jose Museum Of Art
(MORE PUBLIC COLLECTIONS.pdf)
Images,People and Related Information
- Lembeck Images - Selected Public Collections
- Image directory of work in selected public collections
- Lembeck Images - Brittle Star Park
- Large images of Brittle Star xeriscape and model
- Lembeck Images - "Windscape"
- An interactive sculpture installation in a sculptured park
- Lembeck Images - Windscape Works
- Images of work inspired by "Windscape".
- Lembeck Images - Early Work
- Images of work leading to involvement with Razor
Many of the following links are external to this site. Please use your browser to return to this page.
| Early New York Period - SoHo - Razor |
- Judy Pfaff - Images - Information
- A 2004 MacArthur Fellow - Judy's first New York exhibition was at Razor Gallery, where she met Elizabeth Murray and other empathic artists.
(Oral history interview - Archives of American Art)
- Grace Knowlton - Images - Information
- A successful enviornmental installation artist since the days she exhibited as an active member at Razor Gallery.
- Dove Bradshaw - Images - Informaation
- Introduced a sensual approach to conceptual and minimal art in her first exhibition at Razor Gallery. (Video)
- Robert Colescott - Images
- Represented U.S.A. in Venice Biennale - exhibited at Razor Gallery.
- Bill Hart - Razor Gallery Director
- The first gallery professional to recognize the potential of graffiti artists.
The "Razor Gallery"exhibit of United Graffiti Artists (u.g.a.) was the first time that Graffiti Art was exhibited and recognized as a valid art form.
Jack Lembeck visited their “studio” and personally transported the graffiti works on canvas to "Razor" in his own 1972 Ford pickup truck.
- Irving Sandler
- As champion of New York artists, "Artists Space" developed from his conferences with independent artists. Many were associated with "Razor".
"Artists Space" eliminated the need for "Razor" which became lost in the new popularity of SOHO.
- Tino Zago - Images
- Studio partner of Jack Lembeck in New Haven while he was enrolled as a Yale special student of Jack Tworkov and Lester Johnson.
He also exhibited as an active member at Razor Gallery. OK Harris - images
- SOHO New York - History
- A story that illustrates the importance of art, preservation and sense of place.
This successful collaborative vision of gentrification has become known as the "SoHo Effect".
For a more personal view from many of those who have lived there - go to The SOHO Memory Project
| Yale Colleagues |
- A.Bartlett Giamatti - His book "The Earthly Paradise And The Renaissance Epic" was influential reading.
- Before "Bart" crashed the gates of professional baseball or was president of Yale he was a scholar and Master of Ezra Stiles College.
He arranged a fellowship for Jack Lembeck that included involvement with both Morse and Stiles colleges.
- Paul Weiss (excellent profile)
- He was engaged in study of how people related to each other through symbols, language, art and music. An Influential Philosopher - ( New York Times)
- Jack Tworkov - Images
- Lembeck's first Yale instructor - Studio partner of Willem de Kooning. As Chairman he brought both Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston to Yale for informal meetings.
- Lester Johnson - Images
- Studio partner of Larry Rivers. Subsequently with Philip Pearlstein. Spent long evenings at the Cedar Bar - Chairman at Yale during difficult times. Read James Kalm article.
- Al Held - Video : See also video (Irving Sandler about Al Held)
- Judy Pfaff talks about the influence of printmaking in his painting. To quote Held; "One of the profound powers of the artist is that he can will or choose to become anything he wills or chooses." (Al Held - Prints)
- William Bailey - Images
- The second year graduate advisor. Quote; "I'm trying to paint a world that's not around us." (Prints -Crown Point Press 1998.)
- Bernard Chaet - Images
- More influential than credited - A cornerstone of Yale's successful art program. Read ( Bernard Chaet Yale Memoriam )
- Chuck Close - Images (Before he was the name that everyone knows through television)
- He served as faculty at Yale-Norfolk, living with Leslie in the cottage next to the Lembecks'. They visited Sanibel / Captiva many times. And even visited the Windscape Studio in Miami.
- Rudolf Arnheim - Images
- Not at Yale but was the most influential visual art theorist for Lembeck during the Yale and New York period. His books were a reference for teaching. Dean Howard Weaver of Yale A&A encouraged communication.
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.
CLICK - Lembeck SOHO Loft - See Street view - CLICK
- The last SOHO loft where the Lembeck family lived and worked was the entire top (6th) floor of 457-459 Broome Street.
It was a raw corrugated box storage space with steel plate aisles when Lembeck signed a ten year lease
plus an option to renew with only a cost of living increase. They converted it into a comfortable artist living loft.
Five large windows in the rear had a clear view of the "World Trade Center-Twin Towers" that was a 24/7 kinetic light sculpture.
The Lembeck family lived in two other SOHO lofts before moving to Broome Street.
First they lived at 131 Prince Street, two floors above Jazz great Ornette Coleman.
They then converted a raw industrial loft into an artist studio and living loft on the top (6th) floor of 100 Grand Street.
They were first people ever to live in the building at 100 Grand Street.
| Florida - Miami - Space Coast and Beyond |
- J.N."Ding"Darling (Images, Information, Video) (Video Introduction)
- The J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico. (Official Refuge Facebook) It is world famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. The Lembeck home was at the edge of this mangrove forest.
- Dr. John Gifford - Video - Ph.D in Archeological Geology - Principle Scientific Investigator at Little Salt Spring. Read the story in the Huffington Post - watch videos.
- After attending a few classes in the Rosenstiel Marine Affairs Department and qualifing as a University of Miami Science Diver including Nitrox Certification, Jack Lembeck was employed as research diver and worked at Little Salt Spring with the first Underwater Archaeology crew led by Dr. John Gifford...
(Working at Little Salt Spring in 1992 was the stimulus for Jack Lembeck to move to Miami. He has been a certified P.A.D.I. diver since 1972. )
- Little Salt Spring - Images - Multimedia -- (Dive Office - History) ( facebook)
- Watch the innovative processes used at Little Salt Spring. (YouTube video)... View a "Waterlust" video of enthuisastic students and what they can do Now ...The point is how do we convert lust into genuine nurturing and enduring care that insures the eternal protection and preservation of essential assets of Earth. In the late 20th century when Crista Lembeck sailed as crew on the Hudson River Sloop "Clearwater", Pete Seeger offered the same message in another way. You might say he changed the course of the river with a banjo, a few songs and a little help from his friends. In 1968 no one recomended kayaks for the Hudson.
The "Hudson River School" was one of the earliest inspirations for Jack Lembeck. The New York Historical Society collections, including the "Audubon" continued to be a refuge from the obligatory contemporary art gallery visits throughout his time in New York.
We can see only one Blue–Green planet. And we know it can support our existence. Extinction is forever. Why not view the Earth as Art? Take a Hike...
- Bayfront Park by Isamu Noguchi managed by Bayfront Park Management Trust ... Watch Video - "I saw the earth as sculpture" - Isamu Noguchi in his own words.
- Home of "Windscape". And Windscape Studio
- Tim Schmand
- Timothy F. Schmand was the public official responsible for the installation of Windscape. Soon afterward, he became the Executive Director of Bayfront Park Management Trust. See at - Windscape-Video
- Miami Circle
- An archaeology site in the heart of Miami, not far from Bayfront Park, discovered shortly after the Windscape installation. Do circles end?
- Cahokia and watch video Cahokia - City of the Sun
- Extensive information about... And images of the great prehistoric city of Cahokia - Near Lembeck family farms.
- Mississippian Mound Builders and ART ARCHIVES
- More fascinating information about the people who once built the great prehistoric city of Cahokia and their artifacts.
- Susan Banks - Images - Miami Talent profile - Linkedin
- Principle collaborator/partner with Windscape, Brittle Star and LANDMIND.
- Miguel Luciano - Images, Video and information
- While being a Miami "street artist" and student at New World School-University of Florida, Miguel was an integral part of LANDMIND and Brittle Star Park. He already understood The Transformative Value of ART.
- Bert Rodriguez - Wikipedia
- As a New World School-University of Florida student, Bert performed a generous and critical role with LANDMIND and Brittle Star Park.
- Dan Crews - Images - Information
- While a painting student at New World School-University of Florida, Dan volunteered to work on "Windscape".
- Jeremy Gardiner - Art Profile - Video - Wikipedia
- Original collaborator/partner with Banks, Gardiner, Lembeck - which evolved to be LANDMIND.
- John Diebboll
- As principal designer for Michael Graves & Associates and planner for F.I.T. he worked with Jack Lembeck on exhibitions and plans to merge Brevard Museum of Art and Science with Florida Institute of Technology.
(On July 1, 2011, the Museum merged with the Florida Institute of Technology)
- The Conill-Mendoza Chase Collection
- In 2002 Jack Lembeck secured and accessioned this collection as a gift directly from Enrique Conill-Mendoza to the Brevard Museum of Art and Science.
- Florida Master Naturalist Program
- University of Florida Master Naturalists Aim to Educate the Public and Protect Florida’s Natural Resources. Training Locations
- Vince Lamb - Images
- Nature Photographer - Fellow Florida Master Naturalist and projects partner...(Facebook) and member of Friends of Ulumay (What is Ulumay?)
- Charlie Corbeil - Images
- Nature Photographer - Fellow Florida Master Naturalist and project partner...(Video) (RIP Charlie November 5, 2013)
- Ulumay Historic Landmark - 2009 Inagural Newsletter-pdf
- Jack Lembeck was co-founder of Friends of Ulumay. ("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. He is currently concentrating on NEW Paintings.
GO TO - Preserve Brevard
| Beyond |
- Lembeck Lake
- Lake built by uncle John Lembeck on what was originally "Uncle Johnny's" dairy farm in De Soto, Missouri.
- Mike Peters
- A Highschool and Washington University school-mate of Jack Lembeck that is one of our nation's most prominent cartoon artists.
- Loren Munk
- a.k.a."James Kalm"... A new perspective of the New York Art Scene. His informative reports are refreshing, direct and knowledgeable. (Exhibition Video) (Facebook)
- Tim Berners-Lee
- The creator of the World Wide Web. (W3C Website) (twitter)
"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 Works |
Early Work |
Jeff's Vehicles |
Circles of Life |
Lembeck at Yale |
NYC Galleries |
Click here for links to:
NEW YORK CITY GALLERIES