Howard Hack Silverpoint
Hack's ability to elevate the common to the artistic plane links him to a distinguished tradition in American art. Mr. Hack's conceptions of flowers and plants relate to similar obsessive observations by Charles Demuth, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Weston and Joseph Stella.
- Robert Flynn Johnson, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

Howard Hack was born on a cattle ranch north of Cheyenne, Wyoming at Little Barn Creek. His parents moved Oakland, California when he was seven, in time for him to see the World's Fair taking place on Treasure Island. The Fair, the newly opened Bay Bridge, and proximity to San Francisco was a watershed moment. Howard had seen the future! He saw what made a painting, and knew at that moment that he would be an artist...a painter. More than anything he wanted to get to San Francisco and become part of the growing art community...and North Beach was the place to be!

At age eighteen Hack did move to San Francisco where he became closely allied with the Bay Area Figuration Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. A summer student of Yasuo Kuniyoshi at Mills College, Hack also study intermittently at the California College of Arts and Crafts in the late 1940s and 1950s, and in 1962 earned a B.S. in Philosophy from the University of San Francisco.

During the early 1960s Hack painted the simplified shapes of pavement markings and manhole lids using a heavily impastoed technique. In the mid-1960s he began portraying the old office windows and storefronts along picturesque Mission Street near his studio in a series which provides an early link between Bay Area Figuration and Photorealism, its late 1960s offshoot. In the smoothly painted Window Series, Hack explored opacity and translucence of light and color, and the dichotomy of real versus reflected imagery. More recently he has worked with graphic media, including silverpoint drawings and blueprints.


Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1932

University of San Francisco, B.S., 1962
California College of Arts and Crafts
Studied with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Mills College, Oakland, 1949
Studied with Martin Baer, San Francisco, 1950-1953

One Person Shows
The Mezzanine Gallery of Gray Shop, Oakland, 1949
Vesuvio, North Beach, San Francisco, 1950
Triangle Gallery, North Beach, 1951
Galeria de la Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 1959
Bolles Gallery, San Francisco, 1962
Bolles Gallery, New York, 1963
Gump's Gallery, San Francisco, 1965, 1968, 1971, 1972
M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, 1967
San Jose State College, 1968
Lee Nordness Gallery, New York, 1968
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1972
Mills College, Oakland, Retrospective, 1972
Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, 1975
Tyson Gallery, San Francisco, 1976
Zara Gallery, San Francisco, 1978
"Selections from the Blue Print Series," University Art Gallery, California State University, Chico, 1980

Group Exhibitions
Western Painter’s Annual, The Oakland Art Museum, 1955, 1957, 1961
Winter Invitational, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1961
24th Annual Drawing and Sculpture Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1961
Pittsburgh International Painting, Sculpture Annual Invitational, Carnegie Institute,Pittsburgh, 1964, 1967
Whitney Annual of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1965, 1967
29th Corcoran Biennial, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, 1965
Lee Nordness Gallery, New York, 1967
National Drawing Exhibition, Invitational Annual, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1970
“Looking West," Joslyn Art Museum Invitational, Omaha, 1970
National Academy of Design 148th Annual, New York, 1973
Zara Gallery, San Francisco, 1975
San Jose Museum of Art, 1975
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, 1975
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan, 1975
Flint Institute of the Arts, Michigan, 1975
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1976
National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1977
"Bay Area" Painting Invitational, Richmond Art Center, 1979
"Realism", Walnut Creek Civic Arts Gallery, 1980

Awards and Prizes
Jack London Art Festival, Oakland, California: First Prize, 1961, 1964, 1965
Painted Flower Exhibition, The Oakland Art Museum: Purchase Awards, 1962, 1963
San Francisco Museum of Art 84th Annual: Ann Bremer Memorial Award, 1965
Whitney Annual of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York: Neysa McMein Purchase Award, 1965
National Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award for Painting, 1966
Whitney Annual of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York: Sara Roby Foundation Award for Painting, 1967
American Academy of Arts and Letters: ChiIde Hassam Foundation Purchase Award, 1969
The Blue List
Who's Who Among American Artists
National Society of Literature and the Arts, Achievement in the Fine Arts Award
California College of the Arts, Alumni Half Century Club Award, 2012

Walter Maibaum, “Howard Hack: Behind the Window”, American Artist Magazine.
“Howard Hack: The Window Series”, exhibition catalog, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, 1967

The Silverpoint Series, Super 8mm documentary
Direction: Seanchan O'Dell
Cinematography: Frank Simon, Richard Reichel
Editing: Richard Reichel

Copyright 2012 Howard Hack. All rights reserved.
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