Duncan Simcoe was born and raised in Suburban Southern California. It has been the physical context for his career as a contemporary artist, arts writer and art educator. In that role, he is currently the Program Director for Visual Art within the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design at CBU, Riverside. He has also been an Artist-in-Residence at the San Lodovico Center for the Arts Orvieto Italy (2002), visiting artist at Gordon College (1995), the Art Institute of Orange County (1998) and George Foxx University (2014). He has also recently completed a site-specific piece on site at the School of Architecture Bldg., at CBU. He currently resides and maintains a studio in Santa Ana with his wife, Suma.
Although initially attracted to the rich surface and palette of Bay Area Abstraction, with its process/reactive way of working, there were persistent concerns about making more layered connections between specific images, and the ability to respond to interior/exterior provocations that this approach to image-making didn’t allow. Having ‘run aground’ at the mid-point of his life with conventional easel painting, he engaged in a major shift in materials and processes. Through a serendipitous encounter with tar paper as a working medium, he took the opportunity to pair-back the means of image-making to the primary act of line drawing. The result is the on-going body of work collectively titled, Black Drawings. In fact, they are really black paintings since they are made with oil paints and liner brushes. The resulting and growing body of work is an affirmation and extension of his role as an image-maker.
Not surprisingly, the tar paper and its evocative blackness opened like a trap door to new realms of images and metaphorical possibilities. These have grown into clusters of works within the Black Drawings: Mythinburbia, Means of Conveyance, The Desert, The Black Box and Unlisted Numbers. Another recent development has been the reemergence of color into this chromatically restrained/reductive aesthetic. Vibrant Blue-greens, dull violet and silver assert their presence in assorted drawings while the more lurid cadmium-based greens mimic night-vision green in current drawings like Cloud Cover and The Correct Way to Hold a Gun.
M.F.A., drawing & painting, Cal State Long Beach, 1987.
BA, California Baptist College, 1985
Program Director, Visual Art at California Baptist University, 2000-2010
Arts Writer for ARTWEEK magazine and the Orange County Register, 1989-1993.
Workshops & conferences
2015 How to Draw a Cathedral, visiting artist at the Lodovico Canter for the Arts, Orvieto, Italy
2013 Visiting Artist at George Fox University
2011 CIVA Conference, BIOLA University
2010 Black Drawing workshop, College of the Ozarks, Lookout Point, MO.
2008 Drawing Workshop, Oxbridge Conference, Oxford UK.
2007 CIVA Conference; Bethel College, CULTURE?!
2005 Paper: What has Jerusalem to do with Athens? A Meditation on the relationship between art, beauty and Modernity. Oxbridge Conference, Cambridge, UK.
2002 Winter term. Visiting Artist, San Lodovico Center for the Arts, Orvieto Italy
1998 Artist in residence, The Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Beach
1995 Visiting Artist, Gordon College, Wenham MA.
Wisdom of the Desert, group exhibit for the Sasse Museum, Upland CA. Curated by Jonathan Puhls.
Regional Educators, invitational exhibit at NORCO College, Norco CA
Blast from the Past, an Alumni exhibit, Santa Ana College, Santa Ana CA
Transparency, Duncan Simcoe, Clovis Blackwell & Steven Felix-Jager at Cutress Gallery, Pomona CA
Draw the Line , a group drawing exhibit, Jaus Gallery, Los Angeles
Into the Mystic, Group exhibit curated by Gordon Fuglie for the University Art Gallery, CBU
Other Voices, works by Inland Empire Faculty, Norco college, Norco CA
One to Me is Pleasure and Pain, 2-person exhibition at George Foxx University, Portland OR
Invisible Realms. A group exhibit at the Ridley Tree Museum, Westmont College, Santa Barbara. Lines, a group exhibit at La Sierra University, Riverside, CA
Touch, Anoint, Heal: God with us. CIVA traveling group exhibit, Lexington LY.
Black Drawings 2001-2011, Darling Gallery, Azusa Pacific University.
Still, Small Voice, Selections from the Friesen Print Collection, Seattle Pacific University.
Dark Inheritance, Palo Verde Art Center, Palo Verde CA.
Mythinburbia, College of the Ozarks, Lookout Point, MO.
Meditations on the Apocalyptic, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA.
Culture?!, a group exhibit curated by Daniel Siedell for the Johnson Art Gallery, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN. Practicing Theology, art & culture making, BIOLA University art gallery,
La Mirada, CA
Florence Portfolio, MOBIA (Museum of Biblical Art) New York, NY
Duncan Simcoe, Black Drawings, Quan Fong Gallery, Cal Lutheran University,
Thousand Oaks, CA.
Represented by The Square Blue Gallery at SCOPE Art Fair, London UK.
Systematics: Theologies of Complexity, Werby Gallery, Cal State University at Long Beach. Long Beach CA. Stereoscopic, A meditation on the body in three traditions. A group exhibit curated by Duncan Simcoe at BIOLA University, La Mirada CA. New Acquisitions, Mulvane Museum, Washburn University, Topeka KS.
6 Degrees festival, representing the Selah Foundation, Arts District, Los Angeles.
Update III, SAC Arts at the Santora Bldg., Santa Ana CA.
Confessing Tongues, A group exhibition at Concordia University, Irvine CA
Black Drawings, Solo Exhibition at Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach CA.
SCOPE Art Fair/London, represented by Square Blue Gallery, Costa Mesa CA.
In America Now, Don O¹Melveny Gallery, West Hollywood CA. A group exhibition curated by Peter Frank. Art from the Heart, L.A. County Fair Exhibition, Millard Sheets Gallery Pomona CA. Mean Times Back at Home , group exhibit at BC Space Gallery, Laguna Beach. Downtown Arts District Open Studio, Los Angeles.
Past Exhibitions, Solo
LA Architects Design Walk, Downtown Arts District event, 2002.
Duncan Simcoe, Drawings & Paintings, Peter Blake Gallery, LB CA, 2000
Duncan Simcoe, Drawings & Paintings, Peter Blake Gallery, LB, CA 1998
Duncan Simcoe, Paintings, Taylor University, IN. 1996
Artifacts From Ishmael¹s Childhood, Peter Blake Gallery, LB, CA 1995
Big Stories/Small Stories, Gordon College, MA, 1995
Duncan Simcoe, John Thomas Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 1991
Past Exhibitions, Group
Another Round, The Brewery Project Los Angeles, in cooperation with Art Center School of Design, Pasadena CA, 2000.
Old Story, New Voices, a collaborative exhibit by Jane Brucker and Duncan Simcoe, Fullerton College, Fullerton CA, 1997
The Florence Portfolio Project (Intaglio prints produced by 6 artists)
Messiah College, Grantham PA, 1997
Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 1997
Union University, Jackson TN, 1997
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996
Visions Gallery, Albany NY, 1995
Social Engagements: Observations and Personal Narratives, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, curated by Scott Canty. 1995.
Searching for the Hidden, Queens College, Cambridge, UK, 1995.
Art LA Represented by Peter Blake Gallery, 1994.
Fruit of the Spirit, ARTSPACE Gallery, curated by Gordon Fuglie, 1993.
Gathering Time/Finding Continuity, Duncan Simcoe & Crystal Dilbohner, Claremont, Graduate School, Claremont CA, 1993.
Art for Milk, a benefit auction at the Armand Hamer Museum, LA CA, 1991.
Madden Harkness, Randall Lavendar & Duncan Simcoe, The Claremont Graduate School, Claremont CA, 1989.
Sacred Symbols, New Visions, The Riverside Art Museum, Riverside CA, 1989.
Southern California Prints and Drawings, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo CA1989.
Southern California Invitational, Laguna Beach Museum of Art, LB CA, 1988.
Probing beyond reality for truth, Daniel Foster for the Press-Enterprise, C10, Wednesday, January 20, 2010. Old Story/New Voices, Duncan Simcoe in LA, Cassandra dearborne,
The Sacramento Bee (January 1997) pg. 20.
Duncan Simcoe at Peter Blake Gallery, Shirlie Gottlieb for ARTSCENE Magazine
(vol 16 No. 4, December 1996) pp. 11-12.
Spiritual Tourist, Daniela Walsh, The Orange County Register (December 17 1996)
Ishmael Through the Ages, Barbara Bloschy, O.C. Weekly (December 1996).
The Sublime Side of the Everyday, Victoria Dalkey, The Sacramento Bee (June 1992)
Big Look at O.C.s Best, Cathy Curtis, Los Angeles Times (June 1989)
Art Center Nurtures Native Talent, Suvan geer, Orange County Register (July 1987)
Publications (traditional and web)
James Turrell at LACMA, A review written for the Center for Christianity and Culture,
BIOLA University, 2013
Catalog for: Dark Inheritance, Essay by Barry Krammes, gallery director, BIOLA University
Essay for Gesso Cocteau catalog 2006
STILL e-Magazine, Issue #4, Summer 2004. Stuart Semple, editor
Duncan Simcoe, Painter , Art Forum Newsletter/Contemporary art Issues, Santa Ana College (vol 18 No.3 1998).
Ishamel Prays but is not Answered reproduced in The Other Side magazine (vol. 33 No. 19, Nov-Dec 1996).
Ishmael remembers Abraham & Abraham Bids farewell to Ishmael reproduced in The Other Side (vol 31 No. 6).
Social Engagements: Observations and Personal Narratives, an exhibition catalog with essay by Suvan Geer. City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, 1995.
Orange Curtain Rises to Reveal Local Creativity, Daniela Walsh for The Orange County Register (September 1995).
How Then Shall We Paint? Gordon Fuglie for Image Magazine, a Journal of Art & Religion (September 1995).
The Florence Project:an Experiment in Artistic Community, John Skillen for Image Magazine (No. 9 1995).
Your Strangely Present Absence, Duncan Simcoe published with illustration by STRIDE Magazine (#37 1995), Stride publications, Exeter, UK.
Eulogy for Richard Diebenkorn, Duncan Simcoe published in No Mo Po Mo (April 1995).
Private Studios, Laura Tuchman for The Orange County Register (January 1988).
2015, The Black Drawings Now, George Foxx University, Portland OR.
2010, Mythinburbia and it’s antecedents, College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout M
2009, Art and the Bible, La Sierra University, Riverside CA.
2008, panel discussion for ‘Stereoscopic’, BIOLA University, La Mirada CA.
2005, What has Jerusalem to do with Athens? A reconsideration of the role of beauty within Modern art. The Oxbridge Conference, Cambridge UK.
2002, What is contemporary landscape painting? The Orange County Museum of contemporary art for the OC Visionaries lecture series, fall,.
1998, 1995, 1987, Art Forum at Santa Ana College, Santa Ana CA..
1998 The necessity of Darkness, Unpacking the Art of Ed Kienholz. Delivered for: Making Visible the Invisible, Judeo-CHristian Imagery in Contemporary Art. A Conference held at the Armand Hamer Museum, Los Angeles CA..
Constructed Photographs, an exhibit works by Loretta Lux for the cub University Art Gallery.
Beautiful Lying, a solo exhibition of neo-Romantic paintings by Regina Jacobson, cub University art Gallery, 2016.
Stereoscopic, an examination of the non-representational and figurative traditions as they relate to the ‘strange poetry’ currently available in the Near East. 2008.
Three Worlds One Art, curated for BIOLA University 1991.
MOBIA, Museum of Biblical Art, New York, NY
Gordon College, Wenham, MA
Calvin College, Grand Rapids MI.
Concordia University, Irvine, CA
Gordon Fuglie, Curator San Luis Obispo Art Center.
Dan Callis, Artist, LA CA
Chris Gwaltney, Artist, Laguna Beach CA
Graham Center Museum, Wheaton College PA
Grunewald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA
Vatican Collection of Modern Art, Rome
Orange County Museum of Contemporary Art
Riverside Art Museum