Success — half a century later
April 30, 2005 § Leave a comment
By LEBA HERTZ
San Francisco Chronicle
Henry Villierme was on the fast track to becoming one of the new painting stars emerging from the Bay Area Figurative Group in the late 1950s. He was so promising that he took a first prize at a 1957 art exhibition in Richmond while future famed artists Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira and David Park received just honorable mentions.
But unlike his contemporaries, Villierme never made that leap to worldwide recognition. Instead, he moved to Southern California to be closer to his wife’s family and raised his four children while earning money in different odd jobs.
“I never really left painting,” Villierme said by phone from his home in Ojai. “I just didn’t show. I was painting to paint.”
Villierme is no longer a no-show. During the last few years, his career has taken off, thanks in part to his agent son Paul and gallery owner Thomas Reynolds.