American Photorealist Painter, 1920-1999
Born: June 23, 1920; Walker, IA
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.
Education: 1950 University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; M.F.A.
1949 University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; B.F.A.