Music Icons of the 20th Century


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Icons of the 20th Century is the latest collection from pop easel artist Sidney Randolph Maurer (www.maurereditions.com). MUSIC ICONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY will be the first segment of the Icons collection to debut. Maurer is arguably the only artist who has painted more than 150 of the most important people of his own time.

The exhibition opens free to the public on Sept. 22, 2010 at the West Gallery in the Art and Design Center of the California State University Northridge (CSUN). MUSIC ICONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY will run for six weeks, through Oct. 30, 2010. The West Gallery is open Mondays through Saturdays noon-4 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m., closed Sundays and holidays.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Miles Davis' image is the signature piece of the 30 jazz, pop and classical music icons' original paintings on display. Davis, Stanley Clarke, Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles, Edith Piaf, Luciano Pavarotti, Billie Holiday, Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Maria Callas and Arthur Rubinstein are some of the greatest influences on contemporary music.

Sidney Randolph Maurer is an artist with an incredible and poignant story. He achieved financial success designing album covers with his co-worker, fellow pop artist Andy Warhol, during the early '50s. His love of music led him to discover and manage major music talent including Phyllis Hyman and Donovan Mixon. He also was the founder of Roadshow Records. Throughout his foray in music, Maurer, an easel painter, continued to create original works from photographic images similar to those used by Warhol, who painted onto colored silk screens. Maurer's remarkably lifelike images, use of color and mixed media leave his imprint on all of his work.

Maurer's art includes a tale of friendship and loyalty that spans 77 of his 84 years. In 1953, Maurer's childhood friend, Allan Rich, a flourishing young actor, was blacklisted. Maurer essentially supported Rich and his family until he could get back on his feet. Rich has since become a successful and well-recognized actor with more than 150 films and television shows to his credit (Serpico, Quiz Show and a current episode of House).

In the 1980s, Maurer's work came to a sudden halt following the vandalism of his studio while preparing for a gallery showing. Much of his best work was destroyed, causing emotional trauma that resulted in the physical paralysis of his painting arm. Rich moved him to Atlanta and began buying his paintings. Maurer has flourished ever since.

Maurer has always painted socially relevant subjects—endangered species, his America, America series inspired by 9/11, Vanishing Georgia in 1999, including more than 30 collage and oils depicting the sometimes violent history of Georgia. The series was exhibited at the Georgia State Capital by then Gov. Roy Barnes. Beginning in 2004, Maurer began to paint his favorite sports figures. The project morphed into Icons of the 20th Century, which gained the attention of Dean William Robert Bucker of CSUN when Rich donated a collection to the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

The music icons exhibition is one part of the much larger Maurer collection, Icons of the 20th Century, which ranges from images of some of the greatest sports figures of all time, world leaders, personalities in religion and science, as well as stars of stage and screen to major influences in arts and letters. Maurer's “Icons" will be unveiled at various shows at well-known galleries and venues around the country, most notably a show featuring film icons at the SAG Foundation's Los Angeles headquarters and a retrospective exhibit in Spring 2011 at the Rienzo Gallery in New York.

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