Burton Callicott

b. 1907, Terre Haute, IN; d. 2003, Memphis, TN
I tried to create a visual of something that was beyond words. It is my hope that people feel this in the presence of my art, feel something of the power and spirit.
Shadow Richochet
Shadow Richochet

Burton Callicott led an influential career in Memphis as an accomplished artist and educator who inspired generations of creativity. His lifelong exploration of light and shadow and contemplative search for beauty is seen in transcendental paintings and drawings in a variety of styles. After his early studies in sculpture, Callicott was first interested in the representation of volume by way of figuration. This is evidenced in his well-known Hernando DeSoto murals in the Memphis Pink Palace Museum, which he completed as a Public Works of Art Project in 1933. His illustration of social and racial injustices in works like The Gleaners, shown at the New York World’s Fair in 1936, shared the social realist tone of American Scene artists like Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. Callicott soon began painting the effects of light, shadow and color on natural objects as a reflection of the spiritual in nature. In his later career, the work of artists like Hans Hoffmann influenced him to explore the flat forms and perspectives of Abstract Expressionism. With this shift toward abstraction, he elevated light to subject matter in ethereal paintings of rainbows, sun and shadows. Callicott’s works reveal the essential, eternal effects of light among surface and shadow, what is seen and invisible, and the interactions of nature, the human spirit and the divine.

Born in 1907 in Terre Haute, Indiana, Burton Callicott spent much his of childhood and his seventy-year career as an artist and educator in Memphis. Callicott graduated in 1931 from the Cleveland School of Art. He was a founding member of the Memphis College of Art in 1937, where he had an influential tenure teaching sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting and calligraphy until he was named Professor Emeritus in 1978. Callicott’s works have been exhibited at various museums across the state and region, including the Cheekwood Museum of Art and the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, the West Tennessee Regional Art Center in Humboldt, the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Carroll Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University, the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. Samples of his artwork are on permanent display at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

pdf download cv
Shadow Richochet
Shadow Richochet
 In His Image (3)
In His Image (3)
Sketch For Painting
Sketch For Painting
Bathing Bird
Bathing Bird
Cathedral Wall
Cathedral Wall
Chevrons
Chevrons
 Full Moon
Full Moon
Study For A Painting
Study For A Painting
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
Winter Sun (9)
Winter Sun (9)
 Study For Flight To Baltimore (1971)
Study For Flight To Baltimore (1971)
Homage To The Rainbow
Homage To The Rainbow
Untitled Sktech
Untitled Sktech
Sunset Schema 1
Sunset Schema 1
Sketch for House in Winter Sun (1987)
Sketch for House in Winter Sun (1987)
Mandorla Sketch #21
Mandorla Sketch #21
Untitled (color study)
Untitled (color study)
 Study for Bookshelf And Sunbeams (After 1963 oil)
Study for Bookshelf And Sunbeams (After 1963 oil)
Sun Cast Frieze
Sun Cast Frieze
Shadow Richochet
Shadow Richochet
oil on canvas, 40x30
1958
 In His Image (3)
In His Image (3)
oil on canvas, 38x48
1963
Sketch For Painting
Sketch For Painting
charcoal on paper, 24.5x18
1964
Bathing Bird
Bathing Bird
lithograph, 14.5x18.5
1964
Cathedral Wall
Cathedral Wall
oil on canvas, 60x45
1965
Chevrons
Chevrons
lithograph, 15x12
1966
 Full Moon
Full Moon
oil on canvas, 50x50
1967
Study For A Painting
Study For A Painting
charcoal on paper, 24x17.5
1868
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
charcoal on paper, 18x24
c. 1969
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
charcoal on paper, 18x24
c. 1969
Study For Painting
Study For Painting
charcoal on paper, 18x24
c. 1969
Winter Sun (9)
Winter Sun (9)
oil on canvas, 52x62
1969
 Study For Flight To Baltimore (1971)
Study For Flight To Baltimore (1971)
charcoal on paper, 18x24
1971
Homage To The Rainbow
Homage To The Rainbow
pastel on paper, 16.75x11.5
1973
Untitled Sktech
Untitled Sktech
graphite on paper, 10.75x16
c. 1980
Sunset Schema 1
Sunset Schema 1
oil on canvas, 32x60
1985
Sketch for House in Winter Sun (1987)
Sketch for House in Winter Sun (1987)
graphite on paper, 14x19
1986
Mandorla Sketch #21
Mandorla Sketch #21
drycolor on paper, 26x19
1989
Untitled (color study)
Untitled (color study)
drycolor on paper, 23x18.5
1996
 Study for Bookshelf And Sunbeams (After 1963 oil)
Study for Bookshelf And Sunbeams (After 1963 oil)
drycolor on paper, 24x19
1999
Sun Cast Frieze
Sun Cast Frieze
drycolor on paper, 18x26
2000