James S. Strombotne is an American painter. He was born in Watertown, South Dakota, but was raised and educated in Southern California, receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College in 1956 and his Master of Fine Arts from the Claremont Graduate School in 1959. He received a fellowship from Pomona College to study in Italy, and in 1962 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for further study in Rome. The same year, a feature article about his work appeared in Time Magazine.
Strombotne notes some of his early influences as Vermeer and Picasso yet states his work transcends any traditional categorization. Visionary and poetic, Strombotne’s work displays a mastery of the medium portrayed in a truly contemporary composition. His work stands strong on its own as thoroughly outlined his 75 one-man shows and inclusion in numerous museum permanent collections.
Strombotne’s first one-man show was at the Studio 44 gallery in San Francisco in 1956. Since then, he has had over seventy five one-man shows, with twelve retrospectives: four in New York City, twenty-two in Los Angeles, and others in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Santa Barbara, Santa Fe, Newport Beach (CA), and other venues. His work has also been included in most major group shows in America, including two Whitney Biennials, the Carnegie International and the Corcoran Biennial.
Strombotne’s paintings can be found in the permanent collections of museums across the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hirshhorn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is also included in many well-known private collections, most notably the Jack Nicholson collection, which includes twenty of Strombotne’s major pieces.
Awards he has received include the Art in America “New Talent Award,” and an appointment to the Institute of Creative Arts at the University of California in 1965-66.
Strombotne taught at UC Riverside from 1960-2005. He retired as a professor emirtus.