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Frank R. Huff Jr.

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Frank R. Huff Jr.

(Salt Lake City, UT, 1958 - )

Drive-Inn, Salt Lake City (1997) exemplifies Frank Huff’s interest in capturing abstract and angular patterns. Because he so often paints on location, he captures the atmospheric details of light but is unable to depict figures before they pass through the scene. Huff is known to work in both oil and watercolor depicting landscapes, cityscapes, still lifes, and figures, all with an emphasis on line and the same disregard for nostalgia. His earliest influence was without doubt his father, Frank Huff Sr., who, as a commercial artist, was his son’s first artistic idol and the teacher from whom Huff learned the importance of composition and line. Born in 1958 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Huff became as skilled at golf as he is in art. In 1977, he was admitted to the University of Utah on both art and golf scholarships. Although he trained with Alvin Gittens and F. Anthony Smith, Huff was a more dedicated golfer and won more awards and honors in golf than in art. It was not until his success in the 1982 Park City Arts Festival that he decided to invest his time and future in his artistic abilities. In August of that year, he married Jean Russell, of Glasgow, Scotland, and began painting more and more frequently. His paintings began to reflect the influence of Richard Diebenkorn, Edward Hopper, and especially, Edgar Degas. He appreciates these artists for their use of “compositionally beautiful and inventive space,” and their ability to focus on completely new and contemporary subjects. Degas’ paintings of ballerinas, for example, depict more than dancing figures. Degas utilizes creative points of view and fully develops his background space with interesting brushstrokes and texture. With new inspiration, Huff returned to the University of Utah in 1987 to study under Paul Davis and David Dornan for a year. Frank Huff was then painting, and he continues to paint, up to 200 pieces a year. He still draws inspiration from Degas and some of his compositions are as involved and detailed as those of the Impressionist master. He also continues to create works which reflect contemporary life—both in subject matter and application. The artist recently moved from Kaysville to St. George, Utah, and has been, according to him, “painting prolifically.” He plans to paint full time, creating artworks that “bring a spirit of peace and excitement to a home or the place where [they are] exhibited.”

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