James Havard (1937-2020) is an American painter and sculptor. He was a pioneer of abstract illusionism in the 1970s. In the 1980s he changed his style into a form of abstract expressionism influenced by Native American and tribal cultures as well as outsider art. Drawing inspiration from outsider and tribal art, Havard stands within a tradition that includes such notable artists as Paul Gauguin, Cy Twombly, Jean Dubuffet, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Joseph Beuys.
Early SoHo gallerist Louis K. Meisel used the term "abstract illusionism" to describe a circle of abstract painters with a shared aesthetic of expressive, hard-edge forms and trompe l'oeil effects. Along with Havard, the multidisciplinary artist Frank Stella is a prominent member of the movement. View his work.
- Havard's recent work is inspired by tribal art. In the collection of our sister gallery, form & concept, check out Armond Lara and Susan Aaron-Taylor for more artwork influenced by tribal and shamanic aesthetics.