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Henry Pierre Villierme is an American painter associated with abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. He was born in San Francisco in 1928. He studied fine art at California College of Arts and Crafts on the G.I. Bill, having served in the Korean War. Upon returning to the United States and discharge from the Army, he enrolled in the California College of Arts and Crafts under the GI Bill. At the California College of Arts and Crafts Villierme studied under David Park, Harry Krell, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn. Outside of the Bay Area Figurative School, one of his early influences at CCAC was Japanese American abstractionist and abstract calligrapher Saburo Hasegawa. Villierme graduated from CCAC with a Bachelor's Degree in Painting. Villierme also took several courses at the California School of Fine Arts, where his peers included Robert Downs, Manuel Neri, and Bruce McGaw. Villierme's work is typically realistic, and his most frequent subjects have been great rolling landscapes typical of California's Central Valley. He is also known for his portraits and still lifes, which are generally done on smaller, one square foot canvases. He works from sketches he makes on the spot, then lets sketches sit for a month or more before he paints from them. His approach is often considered pointillist and cubist. Villierme's art showed promise early on. In August 1957 Villierme won Second Award at the Jack London Square Art Festival for his painting "Highway". In November, his painting "Lake View" took First Place at the 7th Annual Exhibition Oil and Sculpture at the Richmond Art Center, with honorable mentions going to Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira, and David Park. Villierme was invited to display in "The Next Direction", an exhibition sponsored by the Oakland Art Museum and which also featured works by McGaw, Park, Bischoff, and Diebenkorn. He later went on to win a prize aware at the Los Angeles County Museum 1958 Annual Exhibition â€“ Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity, for his piece "Landscape". Villierme's works were also featured in exhibitions at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Art. In the late 1950s Henry Villierme left the Bay Area for Southern California to raise a family. Richard Diebenkorn later said, responding to Villierme's decision, "Of all the painting students at the California College of Arts and Crafts who might have abandoned his direction, Henry was one whose defection could hit me the hardest." In the late 1980s Villierme began a comeback that culminated with the 2005 Bay Area Figurative 1950s and 1960s exhibit at the Bolinas Museum in Bolinas, California.
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