It is easy to fall in love with the work of John Lloyd. When we think of the high water mark of American Realism, we think of the early twentieth century when American painters were both inspired by and distanced themselves from the prevailing influence which was French Impressionism and Post Impressionism. John Lloyd's landscapes are a terrific reminder of that golden age of painting when artists tried to capture the playful qualities of light while staying true to the all-American devotion to the strong narrative. Like his contemporaries such as Melchers, Redfield, and Garber, John Lloyd understood the tenets of European plein air painting, but gave the work the solidity of form and strong story line that we associate with American realist art from the very beginning.
The Butler Institute of American Art is particularly proud and honored to host this major retrospective of the work of this distinguished painter, John Lloyd's association with the Butler goes back decades as the artist participated regularly in important painting surveys curated by the Institute. He was a favorite not only because of his Warren, Ohio roots, but because his work exemplified the character and the quality of American painting long before the celebration of the New York School's triumphs at mid-century.
John Lloyd was an artist of enormous talents. This exhibition, while paying special tribute to a favorite son, is also shining light on an artist who understood that there are no shortcuts. The works are beautifully composed and painstakingly executed. He was a master of color and a draughtsman of extraordinary skill. To examine the nuances of his paintings is to be reminded that the art that remains timeless is that which is substantive aesthetically. John Lloyd's mastery of his art is a thrill to observe. It is our hope that this significant exhibition will do much to assist this wonderful artist in assuming his rightful place as a major artist of the Modern Era.
On behalf of The Butler Institute of American Art, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. John Boop who made this important project possible. His dedication to the work and knowledge of the artist was invaluable as this exhibition organized and assembled.
To those who have loaned works to this stunning exhibition, we offer our heartfelt thanks. We thank Joseph Rudinec for his extraordinary skill in photographing these paintings with all of their subtleties and nuances. We are grateful to Ken Kimerer and City Printing of Youngstown for the design and creation of this exhibition catalogue, and we thank Margo Jacobs for her efforts as guest curator of this wonderful retrospective.
The Butler Institute of American Art
Dr. Louis A. Zona
Director and Chief Curator