The Arts, October 1978

Stan Masters America
Watercolors in the Great American Tradition

With art in our time moving in so many different directions, we can with the work of Stan Masters, safely anchor ourselves in the great American tradition. There is a timelessness about his paintings that gives a sense of purpose and permanence too often missing in modern art. He records the everyday scenes and sometimes, yesterdays, with an art approach at once traditional and modern, so that the viewer understands the artists' meaning exactly and is still allowed his own interpretation of it.

A Stan Masters watercolor is realism at its best, for he gives the impression of technical precision, rather than the actual thing. His brush stroke is loose but sure, with no prettiness or technical flamboyance. His perception is unmatched and he has the ability to make us see his way, too. What he sees is so direct and the way he sees it is so logical that his intent and his achievement are timeless and universal. We find in his paintings unsuspected technical brilliance, always purposely hidden so as not to intrude on the overall effect he wants to create. One thing that is always fascinating in a Masters scene is the very real feeling you get of what is going on outside of the picture. In his scenes of empty streets in evening light there is always a feeling of deep melancholy with a vague sense of loneliness; but with a beauty that is so modest and direct, that they become intimately sensual to the viewer.

After a period of formal art study in Philadelphia, Stan Master returned to his native St. Louis to pursue a career in art that has spanned 30 years. His experience includes free-lancing, art studios and ad-agency art director.

Turning to painting in 1971 and devoting himself primarily to watercolor, he has exhibited in such juried competitions as the prestigious "Watercolor USA," winning a purchase award in 1971 and accepted again in 1975. He was a finalist in both the "Grand Galleria" exhibit in Seattle and the "Benedictine" show in New York, The Franklin Mint awarded him a $1500 prize in their Bicentennial art competition. He has won awards at the St. Louis Artists Guild and at the "Artistic Perception" juried competition.

In 1962 Stan's film The Storm was awarded the Gold Medal for the Best Film in the American Competition by the Photographic Society of America. For the first time in 33 years of this competition one film had ever won five top awards. In 1963 the same film was awarded a first prize in the annual Cannes International Film Festival.

This one person exhibit inaugurates a series of monthly shows and a new format of exclusively water media at the Wm. Engel Gallery. The show, at 114 East Lockwood (10am to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday) will be displayed through October.

Read the review from the Saint Louis Globe Democrat, Music & Arts, October 21-22, 1978