John R. Anderson was born in Yankton, South Dakota, in 1931. As a student of the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, he participated in Oskar Kokoschka’s symposia in 1952, then earned his BFA at the University of Denver School of Art in 1958, when Vance Kirkland was its director.

In the late 1960s, Anderson painted extensively in Mexico, inspired by pre-Columbian art. He held his first major show at the Guadalajara Jalisco State Gallery, however, the revolutionary abstract art was met with overtly hostile criticism. Anderson moved to London to pursue his artistic aspirations.

In 1971, he returned to Yankton to paint in isolation as he developed a deep and authentic form of personal expression. Although Anderson held a solo show at the Yankton Area Arts Association at G.A.R. Hall in 2009, his mystifying story and paintings remained hidden from the rest of the world.

In November 2017, a 73 Art Agency team traveled to meet Anderson and tour his studio. 73 Art Agency develops, preserves, and promotes the creative works of visual artists worldwide. As a global agency specializing in pop-up galleries, online sales, appraisals, and consulting, they keep original art alive and celebrated in homes, businesses, and public spaces. Their overall mission is to create a fun, less intimidating art scene and experience. In April 2018, 73 Art Agency selected 51 of Anderson’s lyrical abstract paintings to showcase in the exhibition Uncovered in Colorado.

The artist’s work gained traction and in 2019, the second largest show and sale of his paintings were selected for the 73 Art Agency Skybox art exhibition. In March 2020, another small selection of paintings were displayed at The South Dakota Art Museum and two acquired for the museum’s permanent art collection. John R. Anderson currently lives in Yankton, South Dakota, and continues to paint.

To view Anderson’s work and learn about his unique artistic process, check out the John R. Anderson Explored catalogue HERE.


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