Neal Baer Collection

Don Bachardy

Paul Monette


Acrylic on paper

30 x 22 in

Photograph by Blaine Davis. Image courtesy of the artist and Craig Krull Gallery.

Don Bachardy was born in 1934 and is based in Los Angeles, known for his portraits of celebrities and cultural figures, particularly the literary circle around Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden in the 1960s and 70s. Bachardy studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and at the Slade Art School in London. In 1961, he had his first one-man exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in London. Bachardy was partner of writer Isherwood and lived with him in Santa Monica from 1952 until Isherwood’s death in 1986.

Bachardy’s process parallels that of David Hockney, a good friend, and anticipates Elizabeth Peyton‘s fine-lined portraits…Bachardy asks his sitters to sign the drawings with him, confirming the collaborative aspect of his process. Ultimately, the viewer collaborates too: in looking at the portraits, one reactivates the initial exchange, meeting the gaze of a past era.

Press release, “Don Bachardy: Portraits From a Canyon: Los Angeles in the 60s and 70s,” Cheim & Read, 2013

This work is a portrait of Paul Monette, a writer acclaimed for his books on gay relationships and his experience with AIDS. Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) chronicles his partner Roger Horwitz’ final nineteen months of life, from his initial AIDS diagnosis to his eventual death. Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992) relates Monette’s life in the closet before meeting Horwitz. Shortly before dying of AIDS himself in 1995, Monette established the Monette-Horwitz Trust to commemorate his relationship with Roger Horwitz and to support future LGBT activism and scholarship.


Craig Krull Gallery

See also

Don Bachardy at Cheim & Read

Don Bachardy, “Portraits from a Canyon: Los Angeles in the 60s and 70s Selected by Jack Pierson,” January 17 – February 23, 2013

Don Bachardy in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Don Bachardy in the collection of the De Young Museum

Don Bachardy in the collection of the Fogg Museum

Don Bachardy in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery

Don Bachardy – Wikipedia

Don Bachardy – Artist Website