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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 jack.lembeck@aya.yale.edu


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.
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
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.
http://jaxart.tripod.com/index-3.html

| 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