Robert Perine

Robert Perine: Chouinard Artist and Art Activist

by Dave Tourje, 2008

Bob had spent years writing this book, from 1978 to 1985, in the hopes that it could spark some kind of re-emergence of the spirit of Chouinard, something Bob felt had relevance in the contemporary art world. He seemed pleased that our coming together might just help create that.

Bob was a fabulous and diverse artist and thinker. His drafting skills, his approach to the human figure and watercolor medium were spectacular and renowned. He was an exceptional graphic designer who practically designed the modern view of Orange County with his friend and fellow alum Ned Jacoby, as well as innumerable other companies including designing the modern logo for Fender Musical Instruments.

Bob was a poet and musician as well, and a very open minded writer, having written excellent books as well as many articles on art and artists in San Diego publications for decades. Bob was a fairly traditional and quiet fellow in some ways, but I would tell people in order to fully understand him they should read his writings to get the full scope of his aesthetic multiplicity and penetrating observational skills.

But with all these accomplishments and skills, there was an underlying sense that “Chouinard” was his true passion – not as a strictly nostalgic pursuit, but as a pursuit in terms of Chouinard’s relevance – TODAY. He believed this relevance had it’s roots in drawing, and as we joined with other Chouinard artists, this was the core idea which pervaded our thinking as we grew from just a few people to what we are today. It was a strong base in drawing, Bob believed, that formed the success of the original Chouinard, and should form the core of the new Chouinard if we were to become successful – no matter what the art form was that the artist was pursuing.

Bob’s idea of this was not a reactionary ideal in order to return artmaking to some traditional place of the past. He drew the connection between drawing skill and numerous forms – from animation, to his own California Watercolor School, to the conceptualism of Doug Wheeler, Robert Irwin and everything in between. It was Bob’s belief that it was the ability to SEE, to DRAW, that helped distinguish these great Chouinard artists from others. And though, as a group of radically diverse artists forming the new Chouinard we disagreed on much, it was upon this idea we FULLY agreed.

“Chouinard” owes Bob Perine a deep debt of gratitude for his passion and persistence. Without him, we could not possibly be where we are today. Bob helped set the groove we are now in to this day, and if Chouinard is to ever realize the potential we have all envisioned from the beginning, it would be in large measure, due to the efforts of Bob Perine.

Born in Los Angeles, California, November 30, 1922
Died in Pasadena, CA, November 6, 2004

South Pasadena High School, class of 1941
Pasadena Junior College, 1941
University of Southern California, 1944 and 1946
Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, 1947-50
U.S. Navy, 1942-1946, Painter 1st Class

University of Alabama – 1951 (Assistant Prof.)
Taught privately, Pasadena – 1952
Chouinard Art Institute – 1952 -54 (Basic Design)
Mira Costa College, Oceanside, Ca. – 1983, 1985 (Watercolor)
Chouinard Foundation School of Art, South Pasadena – 2003-2004 (design, figure drawing, and watercolor painting)

Fine Art
Los Angeles –1949-55, San Diego –1970-present
(60 awards, paintings in over 200 collections, public and private)

Solo Exhibitions
1968-69 – Laguna Beach Festival
1971 – Nut Tree Gallery, Vacaville, California
1972 – Arlene Lind Gallery, San Francisco
1973 – Mary Moore Gallery, La Jolla, California
1973 – San Diego Art Institute
1973 – University of San Diego
1973 – Civic Gallery of San Jose, San Jose California
1974 – Mary Livingston Gallery, Santa Ana, California
1974 – Thompson Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
1974 – Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
1974 – T.H. Osprey Company, Rochester, N.Y.
1974 – San Diego Art Institute, San Diego
1975 – Riverside Art Institute, Riverside, California
1975 – James Yu Gallery, New York City, N.Y.
1975 – Griffin Editions Gallery, Encinitas, California
1975 – Brand Library, Glendale, California
1999 – Oceanside Museum of Art

Public and Private Collections
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Great Western Savings and Loan, Los Angeles
Home Savings and Loan, Los Angeles
U.S. Financial Corporation, San Diego
Summa Corporation, Van Nuys
Neiman-Marcus, Dallas
San Bernardino Sun Telegram, San Bernardino
Crocker National Bank, San Francisco
Riverside Art Center, Riverside
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego

* Donovan Maley, The Delicate Balance, San Diego Magazine, February 1973
* Donovan Maley, A One-Person Renaissance for Watercolor, Southwest Art, Summer 1973
* Fran Preisman, Robert Perine: Geoglyphica Revisited, ARTWEEK, April 1975
* Sonja Johnson, How Many Hats Can One Artist Wear? The Publication, April 1996
* P.J. Grimes, Tribes of Xyr, The Coast Times, February 18, 1999, pg. 24
* Pat Stein, Building on Fantasies, Homescape, San Diego Union Tribune, February 21, 1999
* Tom Morrow, Tribe Talk, North County Times, March 2, 1999
* Thomas Whayne, Art Seen: The Tribes of Xyr, The Publication, February 1999