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James Hueter '48 Retrospective Showing at the Claremont Museum of Art

Claremont artist James Hueter ’48 has been quietly creating art for 60 years, and the Claremont Museum of Art is currently chronicling his prolific efforts with a career-spanning retrospective, guest curated by Steve Comba, assistant director of the Pomona College Museum of Art.

On display until May 3, the 100-plus painting, sculpture and drawing exhibit surveys Hueter’s early realist and surrealist paintings, and a long period when he investigated and refined hybrid forms of painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and architecture. The exhibition culminates with his recent works that meld these disciplines and his interest in representation and illusion. Hueter’s preeminent motif is the structure and symmetry of the human face, which he renders as recognizable while simultaneously creating an abstraction from that face.

Born in San Francisco in 1925, Hueter studied art at Pomona College in the 1940s, taking classes in sculpture, architecture, design and painting. He graduated from Pomona in 1948, received his MFA from Claremont Graduate School in 1951, and settled down in Claremont, building a home and studio. Hueter taught at Mt. San Antonio College from 1951 to 1980, and for brief times at Pomona, Claremont Graduate University and Pitzer College.

“This exhibition is a culmination of over four years of planning, visualizing, promising, and finally shepherding through the logistical and practical hurdles that a venture of this scale represents,” writes Comba in the forward to the exhibition guide. “James Hueter is known to his friends and peers as ‘an artists’ artist,’ yet remains frustratingly obscure to the rest of the world. Ascriptions for such obscurity have run the gamut from the hybrid nature of his work, to the timing and unfortunate twists and turns of the art market, to his own personality and expressly focused seriousness of his artistic pursuit. Whatever the reasons, my aim was to ‘right the wrong’ of this exile and bring to public view an artist more than worthy of notice and respect.”

Hueter will be on hand to discuss his art this Saturday, March 28, from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Claremont Museum of Art, which is located at 536 West First St. in the Packing House. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.