Commissions / Collaborations            

The San Francisco Giants
In the fall of 2000, Marvin Suomi, President of Kajima Urban Developement, asked Calvin Grimm to create a large painting which KUD would present to its client: the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club. KUD was developer of the Giant's new home, AT&T Park, inaugurated April, 2000.

Suomi felt that this unique ball park, in its remarkable setting, would inspire Calvin to express something not approached in depictions of sports venues to date. Suomi's intuition bore fruit as Grimm produced nearly five dozen preliminary studies and two large canvases in 19 months. May 3rd, 2002 saw the unveiling of the first 76"x120" oil on canvas installed at the ball park. Later a companion canvas was installed there as well.

As an abstract expressionist painter, interested in the mysteries of organic form, Grimm's challange was to observe the literal elements in baseball, the Park, and the Park's relationship to its surroundings, and through studies, evolve those objects and atmospheres into abstraction. Eventually, without a set plan, Grimm began the final large canvases.

The result is two fluid, rolling scapes of natural, architectural and baseball forms which weave across two curved walls at the AAA Club Box Councourse of AT&T Park, San Francisco.

Nickel Curve, 76"x120" oil on canvas, 2001-02 for the San Francisco Giants
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From Exxon Valdez to BP Gulf Oil Spills 1989 - 2010
Calvin Grimm and world renowned contemporary classical composer, George Tsontakis, developed this painting/music collaboration as a multi-media installation. The two artists paired a four minute excerpt from George's major percussion symphony, Mirologhia, with Calvin's From Exxon Valdez to BP Gulf Oil Spills 1989-2010, a painting that took twenty one years to complete, being bracketed by both those major US oil disasters. The, at first, melancholy and ominous musical excerpt ends in a cacophonous expression of the pain and confusion of war -- an altogether powerful collaboration.

Noteworthy is how Grimm, in the early 1970s, had led five week long NOLS wilderness sea kayaking expeditions in Prince William Sound, Alaska prior to the eventual shipping of oil from the port of Valdez. His visceral reaction to the spill exhibits the same authenticity as is typical of his painterly expressions.

When the BP Gulf Spill occurred Calvin re-entered the painting with new conviction while also selecting George's music to support the painting's premise with another level of spectator emotional involvement. "In the same manner that aerial photos of oil spills can be abstractly beautiful, they can simultaneously be disturbing reminders of our destructive mismanagement. Occasionally, my paintings confuse us in this way."


From Exxon Valdez to BP Gulf Oil Spills
1989-2010 - A collaboration with composer George Tsontakis
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The Premiere performance of “Sea Ghosts”, by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company,


Deep Ocean Deep Space Series
The Premiere performance of “Sea Ghosts”, by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, featuring set design by Calvin Grimm a 15’x20’ enlargement of a painting from his Deep Ocean/Deep Space series, was a huge success at The Egg in Albany, in January 2012. On March 24th this extraordinary modern dance was again performed at UPAC. as part of the 29th annual Festival of Dance.

"The image is a touchstone for the tentacle like movements of the dancers, who seem to float and writhe in an aquatic world. The wavelike rhythms and underwater resonances are further conjured by the eerie sound piece written by Chicago composer William Harper." Ulster Publishing Review

As a visual artist, Grimm feels an affinity with dance and music, given that his process is iteself a kind of performance involving the body. "Very often my paintings begin with a broad gesture that involves the whole reach of my body. Maybe there are a number of these gestures, the painting builds that way. It's very much like a dance, in which elements sometimes cluster together in places and push off from each other"

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Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Dublin, Ca.
With the installation of three 5'x6' oils on canvas at the entrance to Astex Pharmaceuticals in Dublin, Ca. Grimm brought attention to the synergy between science and nature. The paintings titled "Meadow Cells Dividing", "Healing in the Jungle", and "Adjacent Possibles" infuse the space with organic energy.
Painter and environmentalist, Grimm's organically grounded paintings reveal a personal collaboration with the forces of nature.

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