THOMAS F. AKAWIE (American,1935-2019), Untitled, oil on canvas, 54.5”l x 54.75”w (framed), signed bottom right (more)

Thomas Akawie

Thomas Frank Akawie died January 18, 2019, in Berkeley CA. Tom was born Feb 22, 1935 in New York City and was the son of Bessie Cohen Akawie, and Nathan Akawie. He graduated John Marshall High School, Los Angeles in 1953. He attended University of California, Berkeley (B.A. 1959, M.A. 1963).
Tom was Guest Faculty & Instructor at University of California, Berkeley, Assistant Professor California State University Los Angeles, and a Professor of Fine Art at San Francisco Art Institute 1966-1999.
From the 1980 book by Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1980:
“…From origins in Abstract Expressionism, he developed a form of abstraction in which rigidly symmetrical forms, initially inspired by floor plans of historic European cathedrals, were set in etherealized fields that implied vast spaces; meticulously airbrushed, they suggested both precision machine parts and primitively stylized figures and were frequently exhibited with the work of the Visionaries. Akawie later turned to landscape-Magic Realist deserts and skies, “moonscapes” airbrushed to suggest trompe l’oeil reliefs of ridges and craters-and to figurative works inspired by the symbolism and imagery of the Tarot, astrology, and ancient Egyptian art. In the late 1970’s he emphasized more conventional Photo Realist subjects.”

Tom’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, Whitney Museum NY, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Jose Museum of Art, Smithsonian Washington D.C., Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, Milwaukee Art Center, DeYoung Memorial Museum San Francisco, Denver Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum Of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, numerous fine art galleries in Los Angeles, Berkeley, and San Francisco, and is included in many private collections. He is considered to be a pioneer of A irbrush Painting.


Selected Exhibitions
California Palace of Legion of Honor
De Young Museum, SF
Oakland Museum of Art
Whitney Museum NY
San Jose Museum of Art
Smithsonian Washington, D.C.
Institute of Contemporary Art Philidelphia
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Milwakee Art Center
Denver Art Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art