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Considered a "pioneer of abstract illusionism," Havards signature paintings include collage elements, images and text that refer to prehistoric Native American culture, squeezings of paint directly from the tube, and spray painted "shadows" giving the illusion that the paint is actually suspended in front of the paint surface. Closely related to the Abstract Expressionists because of his expressive sweeping and gestural brushes of paint, Havard is a sensuous colorist who powerfully conjures up emotional responses and impressions from the viewer.
Havard was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1937. Upon graduation from Houston State College in 1959 he moved east to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After moving to New York City in the 1980s, Havard focused on large-scale, expressive paintings referencing Native American culture in a most unique way. Over the next ten years, he made frequent visits to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for inspiration and to pursue his interest in collecting. Havards style of blending expressionistic abstraction with indigenous symbols caught the attention of museums throughout the country and soon his works were added to several important collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art. – Julie Sasse Curator of Contemporary Art at the Tucson Museum of Art