HAROLD STEVENSON | ARTIST
Harold Stevenson (1929-2018) was an internationally recognized artist, born in Idabel OK. His most iconic piece, The New Adam, is part of the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY. The male odalisque, comprised of nine panels, measures approximately 8’ x 40’ and is intended to boldly fill the room. Bow and Arrow, is a notable piece in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Primarily known for his work with the human figure, objects, often represented by the Pop art movement, did not escape Stevenson’s oeuvre. Idabel citizens have shared examples in local collections such as a single spring dandelion, a delicate china teacup, still life and landscape compositions, whimsy, mythology, architecture, archeology, religion, war, and a tough pair of cowboy boots, shown here, Cowboy Resting on His Boots.
Locally, Stevenson was known for his portraiture of 100 local folks from all ages, races and walks of life. He painted cowboys and cowgirls, old slaves and new babies, bankers, merchants, farmers, and veterans. The paintings represented community – the rural community of his hometown and the people that made it what it was. He called it The Great Society.
“We talked about the people across the ocean seeing the likes of us. Did they look any different, or were the people from different countries basically the same? I would see emotions - he could paint their lives into every brush stroke and their feelings shone through their eyes and almost jumped out of the canvas.” 1
Stevenson’s art has been exhibited at the following galleries and events: Piccola Biennale and Biennale Flottante, both in Venice; Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome Italy; Iris Clert, Knoedler and Co., Centre Pompidou, and the Eiffel Tower all in Paris France; Robert Fraser, London; Palais des Beaus Arts, Brussels Belgium; Svensk-Franska Konstagaleriet, Stockholm Sweden; Galerie Hake, Cologne West Germany; Medusa Gallery and National Museum, Athens Greece; and Sidney Janis, Iolas-Jackson, Richard Feigen, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Whitney and Guggenheim, all in New York City. Stevenson has also exhibited in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Puerto Rico.2
Group exhibitions included Stevenson with such artists as Peter Blake, Christo, Stuart Davis, Jim Dine, Max Ernst, Charles Henri Ford, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Pavel Tchelichew, Wayne Thiebaud, Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann. Most of Stevenson’s work is in private collections throughout the world.
Harold Stevenson's The Great Society, October 4, 2019 - December 29, 2019.
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman, OK 73019.
Art in Community: The Harold Stevenson Collections, March 10 – June 7, 2020.
Museum of the Red River, 812 E Lincoln Rd, Idabel OK 74745.
Bob Norwood, 2015.
Dian Jordan, 2019.