This past Spring semester, The Honarkar Foundation in Laguna Beach featured three Tony DeLap artworks from the Escalette Collection of Art in its inaugural exhibition corresponding with the opening of their new gallery space. The Honarkar Foundation is located in the historic former post-office building on Broadway Street, built in 1938. Orange County art collector Gerald Buck later transformed this space into a state-of-the-art personal museum. The building has been closed to the public for many years, and for many, the Tony DeLap exhibition was their first opportunity to view this much-anticipated space.

Image of contemporary art exhibition featuring geometric works painting in mostly primary colors.

Image courtesy of The Honarkar Foundation.

Tony DeLap: A Survey of Works 1960s-2000s (March 7th – May 4th, 2024) featured over fifty paintings, sculptures, and drawings that demonstrated the evolution of DeLap’s work throughout his career. The exhibition highlighted his iconic geometric forms, love of optical illusion, and expert craftsmanship, offering insight into his early studies of perception and space and his later explorations of color, shape, and material.

Tony DeLap (1927-2019) was a seminal West Coast artist recognized as a pioneer of West Coast Minimalism and the California Light and Space movement. He was also a founding faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, inspiring generations of artists and scholars. DeLap was also involved with the Arts at Chapman University, donating several large-scale outdoor sculptures that have shaped the university’s landscape. In 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Degree by President Doti.

Image of woman dressed in black standing in front of a triangular-shaped large painting. The painting is black and grey and hung on a white wall.

Tony DeLap, Mr. Mystic, acrylic on canvas, 1984. Gift of the artist.
Image courtesy of The Honarkar Foundation.

The Escalette Collection loaned three Tony DeLap paintings for the exhibition: Mr. Mystic, Peek, and Sharper. Made in the 1980s-1990s, all three works capture DeLap’s fascination with experimental forms and color. Mr. Mystic, in particular, stands out for its sheer size – at over 12 feet, it is one of the largest paintings created by DeLap. This piece is now back on view in the 3rd-floor lounge of Beckman Hall.

Loaning artwork is part of the Escalette Collection’s mission to make the collection as accessible as possible. Loaning artwork not only allows us to build relationships with institutions worldwide, but it also means that we can share a piece of Chapman’s campus with other communities.

View a video of the installation at The Honarkar Foundation here.

We invite you to explore all the works in the Escalette Collection by visiting our eMuseum

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is the proud home of the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. The Escalette Collection exists to inspire critical thinking, foster interdisciplinary discovery, and strengthen bonds with the community. Beyond its role in curating art in public spaces, the Escalette is a learning laboratory that offers diverse opportunities for student and engagement and research, and involvement with the wider community. The collection is free and open to the public to view.