Jack Ogden

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Jack Ogden Biography

Jack Ogden was born in French Camp, CA on August 22, 1933. He received his B.A. in 1960 and M.A. in 1962 from California State University, Sacramento, where he also taught for over 30 years. Currently retired from teaching, Jack and his wife Eblis live in Sacramento, CA, where he continues to create new art and regularly shows in local galleries.

For over thirty years, Jack Ogden has been on of Sacramento’s most popular artists. Ogden is best known for his eclectic style, ranging from his figurative work, self-portraits, still-lives, and landscapes. His divers narrative paintings include the artist as the subject and his view of the studio and the model. Another world that exists in Ogden’s paintings is that of the exploring sailor, which he sometimes likens to the exploring artist. His still-lives and landscapes are very meditative, though Ogden is best known for his figurative work, which is provocative whist elegant.

Ogden’s narrative works depict his personal interests in nostalgia and worldly cultures. His paintings make reference to a varied art history, ranging from Byzantine, Persian, and Japanese motifs to modern influences of Spanish Baroque, French Impressionism, German Expressionism, as well as more recent stylings of Philip Guston and the Bay Area figurative school. Whatever the label, Ogden is very much a Northern California artist.

Ogden, in real life, is the exploring artist who is constantly self-evaluating and re-working his paintings until he is fully satisfied with his work. He may seem, at times, spontaneous and loose, but his masterful precision is evident in every stroke. His work is both romantic and comic. Ogden is known for his painterly jokes, illusions, and allusions that confounds straightforward interpretations such as an unusual twist of a posing figure or a baffling symbolic reference.

Jack Ogden was one of the very first students of then unknown artist Wayne Thiebaud, along with fellow student Mel Ramos. Along with the now popular Ramos and Thiebaud, Ogden is part of an important league of artists defining the specific styles of the Bay Area and Northern California art. His paintings have been exhibited nationally and in Japan.

Ogden’s work is the permanent collections of the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, the Oakland Museum of California, the Butler Museum, and New Britain Museum, as well as the Pilot Hill Collection and California State University/Student Union in Sacramento. He has been published twenty-one times since 1963 in such publications as Art in America (1971), Art Forum (1963–66), San Francisco Chronicle (1972), Artweek (1990, 1994), and Art of California (1992). He has had over seventy solo shows since 1958 and thirty-eight group shows from 1984 to 2004. Ogden has received numerous honors and awards over his career.

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