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About Figurative Expressionism

The Rhino Horn Collection, presented here on this website, represents an important segment of art history, American Figurative Expressionism, from the early 1960s to the present. After sixty years of collecting, there are now over 1,000 items, including oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, sculptures, and drawings. The artists in the Rhino Horn Collection, over 40 American artists, have with a few exceptions, been woefully overlooked, by both the art world and history. Yet their work has persevered. Their importance must be permanently recorded in history, as they have continued a figurative strain of German Expressionism in the United States. These artists and sculptors have retained originality in the face of conformity and have masterfully recorded the angst, violence, and happenings of the turbulent times in which they lived and worked.

The Beginnings of
The Rhino Horn Collection

An art history course given at Brown University by Dr. Alexander Dorner, author of "The Way Beyond Art", left a lasting impression on the principal founder of the Rhino Horn Collection. Dorner taught that great art was dynamic and required the viewer to participate. It also followed the principle that great artists tend to associate with each other, socializing and exchanging ideas. The Rhino Horn Collection is based on these principles, and as the work of each of the Collection's artists was chosen, he or she was specifically asked to recommend a fellow artist for consideration by the Collection.

Figurative work, which is our cornerstone, is about all of us and is an important part of art history. The Rhino Horn Collection is proud to have assembled many of these works and currently plans to publish a major catalog and arrange a traveling show of approximately 80 paintings at various museums through the country and ending at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. When the late Meyer Schapiro heard about the project, he said, "It should start at the Met?" At present, several museums have indicated that they wish to participate in the exhibition.

Several artists contained in the Collection have been given one man shows at various universities and museums. In the fall of 1999, the Whitney Museum in New York City did a major retrospective, of Bob Thompson, an important African American figurative artist from the 1960's. They chose the painting "Abundance and the Four Elements", which the Rhino Horn Collection loaned to the Exhibit, to be reproduced as their feature postcard for that Exhibition.

The Rhino Horn Collection has an advisory board, several consultants, and an accredited art conservator. Presently, we seek all interested directors, curators, art historians, and scholars who wish to assist in planning a major exhibition and catalog. The leaders of this effort should share a kindred perception and appreciation of this group of figurative expressionists. This level of enthusiasm will help establish a meaningful place in art history for these artists.

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