Henry Villierme, "The Bather," Oil on canvas
An important period for Bay area artists, Henry Villierme's "The Bather"
is a well-preserved and significant example of the artist's repertoire.
A poignantly thin line exists between figuration and abstraction in
this oil on canvas painting.
HENRY VILLLIERME was born in San Francisco in 1928. He was raised by his aunt in Tahiti, French Polynesia, and returned to the Bay Area for higher education in 1939. Henry’s father Louis was born in Tahiti, and his mother Emilia was born in San Salvador. Henry studied fine art at California College of Arts and Crafts on the G.I. Bill, having served in the Korean War. At CCAC, Henry studied under both Harry Krell and Richard Diebenkorn. It was at this time that Richard Diebenkorn approached Henry to be in the “Contemporary Bay Area Figurative Painting” show curated by Paul Mills, and shown first at the Oakland Art Museum in 1957. This show later traveled to the Los Angeles County Art Museum.
In his 1959 book I Like What I Know, Vincent Price included a list of American artists to whom he referred as “better than good, and a few who are great”: Pollack, Rothko, Motherwell, Kline, Parks, Villierme, de Koening, and Diebenkorn.
Henry has exhibited his work at the Oakland Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the Downey Museum of Art, the Laguna Art Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Bolinas Museum.