The art of Javier Arizmendi-Kalb
Javier Arizmendi-Kalb was born in Mexico City in 1963. As a child and young adult he started painting with "plain air" artists including Mauricio Devaux, and his grandfather, Marcos Kalb.
In 1982 Javier moved to the United States to attend Dartmouth College where he studied Engineering and Art History. Upon graduation in 1986 he received the Ames Fine Arts Award and had a one person show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, which featured a series of his landscapes of Mexico, California and New England.
In 1986 he had another one person show at the Mary More Gallery in La Jolla, California. That same year Javier enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Design to study architecture where he graduated with distinction in 1991.
From 1991 to 1994 Javier started his career as an architect in New York City working in the offices of Francois De Menil, and 1100 Architect, where he contributed to the design of the Fresco Chapel at the de Menil Museum in Houston, and the renovation of the Jasper Johns Studio respectively. Among the paintings of this period are still life studies where objects, space, shade, shadow, and color are protagonists in tight compositions.
In 1994 Javier relocated to the Bay Area to join the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.
Since then, he has focused on painting in both oil and watercolor, exploring the themes of cityscapes, landscapes and interiors.
In addition to his continued interest in figurative work, Javier has developed, over the past several years, a parallel body of work characterized by large format abstraction, expanding his exploration of landscape, still life, calligraphy, and interior spaces. The work features bold compositions, using color and brushwork to project greater emotional content on the canvases.
Javier is also a Design Director at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill where he has practiced architecture since 1994. His architecture work includes the San Diego Superior Courthouse, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Rice University Bioscience Collaborative, and Poly International Plaza in Guangzhou.