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David Adickes...Texas Artist and Sculptor
The career of well known Texas artist and sculptor, David Adickes, spans 6 decades. Born in Huntsville, Texas, Adickes soon left home for a stint in the military. Although he has a degree in math and physics in 1948, he pursued art and studied in France from 1948 to 1950 with modern French master Fernand Leger. After his studies, Adickes chose to return to the Houston where he opened an art school with his old friend Herb Means. The Studio School of Contemporary Art, together but it did not work out. They made a lot of friends but very little money.
The Virtuoso was David Adickes first large size sculpture commissioned in 1983 by the Lyric Center. The Virtuoso is a 36 foot tall statue of a cellist at play. The 76 foot statue of Sam Houston located in Huntsville, Texas was completed in 1994. His seven year project building presidential parks in South Dakota (August 2003) and Williamsburg, Virginia (March 2004) began in 1996.
David Adickes: The Artist
David Adickes art has been featured in many one man shows across the United States and in France where he lived for six years early in his career. Mr. Adickes is well traveled and has circled the globe painting in Tahiti, Japan, Spain. His art is featured in many museums, and hundreds of corporate and private collections.
The Houston Artists Annual art show offered a $100.00 prize to the winner, but there was a catch... the artist must have lived in Houston for a year. In the spring of 1951 Adickes submitted his art and won first place. When the awards were given Adickes only received an honorable mention. The judge noted the mistake and was informed that Adickes had not lived in Houston for the full year required in the rules. Judge William Lester of the University of Texas said it was not fair and they should do something for him. Some time later Adickes was invited to do a one man show at the museum. At the time David Adickes was working during the day as a draftsman for an oil company. This one man show literally launched his career.
Stephen F. Austin Statue
In 2003 Adickes returned to painting and produced many fine works. However, his love of sculpture inspired him to create his statue of Stephen F. Austin located in Henry Munson Park in Brazoria County, Texas. The statue of the Father of Texas is 60 foot tall resting on a 12 foot base making the exhibit a total of 72 feet tall and visible for many miles around.
The Beatles by David Adickes
David Adickes art and style came of age during the turbulent 1960s. The Beatles exhibit is not in the same style of the presidents but is a reflection of the contemporary style in his early paintings. The final home of The Beatles will be close to Adickes offices on Shepherd Drive in Houston.
The Water Lights District in Pearland, Texas
During the early 2000s David Adickes partnered with developers to create a planned urban development in Pearland about fifteen minutes south of Downtown Houston. Adickes has created 43 presidential heads to be placed in Presidential Park™. The development would have been known as The Water Lights District and would have included residential and business park areas with a Grand Canal™ and Restaurant Row™. The Water Lights District would have been a strong tourist attraction and bring many visitors to Pearland, Texas and Brazoria County. Unfortunately, the financial crisis in 2008 brought these plans to an end. The Water Lights District was never completed.
David Adickes Museum
The art and sculpture of David Adickes is not without its critics. Some do not approve of having art located along the highways of any major city. There have been critics who fairly or unfairly claim that Adickes’ statues lack vibrancy and life that bring them alive like the work of the masters. Some of the criticism has been down right nasty. The names of these critics were deliberately left out of this piece. It seemed important to give a balanced view of opinion of the art of David Adickes. I do not pretend to be knowledgeable about good art but I do enjoy the sculptures and feel that the placement of these works in Houston will benefit the community. I enjoyed viewing The Virtuoso for many years before I heard of David Adickes. I admit to bias as a Native Houstonian.