Rex Clawson was born in 1929
in Dallas Texas. As a child his favorite artist was Jon Witcomb,
an illustrator for the womens' magazines his mother subscribed
to. In his teens he read "Lust for Life" and discovered
Van Gogh, Gauguin and the Impressionists. All of his early paintings
reflect these artists.
He returned to Texas and in 1951 won first prize at the annual exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. In 1952 he was exhibited at the Knoedler Gallery NYC, in a show of Texas Artists. Thus encouraged, he moved to New York where he began to show regularly at the galleries. He had his first one man show at the Edwin Hewitt Gallery in 1955. In 1956 "Vogue" magazine reproduced a Clawson painting of a cat. Lincoln Kristen saw it and commissioned the artist to paint a cat for him.
In 1963 the Royal Athena Gallery exhibited a Clawson painting entitled " Nude in a Rocking Chair". Immediately the press announced it as a nude of President Kennedy and it got worldwide publicity. Finally, two U.S. Treasury agents entered the Gallery and acquired the painting, along with all photographs and negatives of it. The painting was never seen or heard of again. This was the start of Clawson's period of political satire. He had two one-man shows at the Royal Athena Gallery, 1963-1964 in which he satirized through art all the politics of the day. These shows received praise from the New York Times, Time Magazine, Art News, among others.
Clawson had two one-man shows at New York's A.C.A. Gallery in 1968-1972. These shows took a light hearted look at social conditions and the decline of Religion in America.
Since then Clawson has worked mostly on commissions from private collectors. Due to failing health he found it too difficult to produce enough paintings at one time to have another one-man show. Finally, in 2000 he entered the Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in the East Village where the Nuns put him to work illustrating the Gospels for the Chapel. He has completed the three-year cycle of Sunday Gospels as well as saints' feast days. He now creates secular paintings from his bed side.
Cabrini has created a Cyber Art Gallery through www.touchtown.org
in which he now displays his works for a network of nursing
and retirement homes.
Clawson's work is represented in the Butler Museum (Youngstown,
Ohio) Krannert Museum (University of Illinois), University of
Georgia Museum and the Smithsonian Art Museum. One man shows-
Hewitt Gallery-1955, Royal Athena Gallery 1963-1964, A.C.A.