1960s California Hard–Edge

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3

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Thursday, 5 July 2018 to Saturday, 8 September 2018

Flowers Gallery is delighted to announce an exchange programme of two exhibitions in collaboration with Louis Stern Fine Arts. Taking place in London and Los Angeles this Summer, the two galleries will focus on the various forms of abstraction taking place in Britain and the USA’s West Coast in the 1960s. 

In London, Flowers Gallery will present works by Lorser Feitelson, Karl Benjamin, and Helen Lundeberg, leading figures of West Coast abstraction during the 1960s, best known as founders of California Hard Edge painting. 

Feitelson and Benjamin were among four artists to show in the celebrated 1959 exhibition curated by Jules Langsner, Four Abstract Classicists at the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art. The show also travelled to London and Belfast under the title West Coast Hard Edge. Distinguished by crisp geometric compositions and flat, clean fields of colour, their work was seen as a reaction to the emotive concerns of Abstract Expressionism, and signalled the emergence of a new ‘cool’ Californian abstract painting style.

Karl Benjamin’s geometric abstractions are characterised by their resonant colour and repeated shapes, frequently developed using rational structures based on numerical progressions. The works in the present exhibition include grids, mirrored forms, and interlocking sequences of squares, rectangles and circles in vividly contrasting colour combinations.

Lorser Feitelson’s carefully planned and rational compositions investigate the interrelations and tensions between geometric forms, often as an abstract investigation of the human figure. The painting Untitled, Magical Space Forms explores the chromatic interplay of minimally composed, angled bands of colour; while examples of later works in the exhibition demonstrate a further reduction of form into sensuously curved lines.

Helen Lundeberg’s subtle geometric forms relate to both the natural landscape and the built environment, incorporating delicate, desert-tones of ochre, rust and gold, and tautly defined architectural motifs such as doors and archways. Although not included in the definitive exhibition Four Abstract Classicists, Lundeburg’s work was later recognised as a vital contribution to the development of West Coast Hard-Edge painting.

 

Artist ( Description ): 

KARL BENJAMIN (1925-2012) was born in Chicago, IL. He received his BA from University of Redlands, Redlands, CA and his MFA at Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA. He was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Visual Arts in both 1983 and 1989. Benjamin had his first major solo show at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1953. Numerous gallery showings of Benjamin’s work during the 1950’s culminated in 1959 with his inclusion in Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s ground-breaking exhibition Four Abstract Classicists: Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin. His work has been featured in major exhibitions such as Geometric Abstraction in America at The Whitney Museum (1962), The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1965), Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1970 at the J. Paul Getty Museum (2011 – 2012). His work has also been included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Israel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York among others. For many years, Benjamin taught painting at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate School and served as Professor Emeritus. Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Karl Benjamin.

LORSER FEITELSON (1898-1978) was born in Savannah, GA and studied at the Academie Colorossi, Paris in 1919. Feitelson moved to Los Angeles in 1927, bringing with him modernist ideas he had adopted while living in New York and Paris. Highly influential as a leader and teacher in the art community, along with his wife and collaborator Helen Lundeberg with whom he co-founded the movement Subjective Classicism, Feitelson helped to establish Los Angeles as the important art centre it is today. He has had solo exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as the San Francisco Museum of Art. Feitelson’s oeuvre has been featured in Fantastic Art: Dada and Surrealism, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1936 – 1937), The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1965) and Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1976), Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury at the Orange County Museum of Art (2007) as well as Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1970 at the J. Paul Getty Museum (2011 – 2012). Works by Feitelson are also included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and numerous other public and private collections. Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Lorser Feitelson.

HELEN LUNDEBERG (1908-1999) was born in Chicago, IL and graduated from Pasadena City College in 1930. She co-founded the movement Subjective Classicism with her husband and collaborator Lorser Feitelson in 1934, also known as Post Surrealism, and was the author of the manifesto on Post-Surrealism. In spring 2016, The Laguna Art Museum presented a retrospective of her work. She has had solo exhibitions at The Fresno Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, University Art Museum in Santa Barbara, Long Beach Museum of Art, and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Lundeberg has also participated in group exhibitions such as the Americans 1942: 18 Artists from Nine States at the Museum of Modern Art of New York (1942), Geometric Abstraction in America at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1962), Pacific Standard Time, Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture 1950 –1970 at J. Paul Getty Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (2011 – 2012); and in 2018 her work was included in the The fourth edition of Spotlight at Frieze New York in 2018. Her work is included in the permanent collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Norton Simon Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Laguna Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Orange County Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, San Diego Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, Norton Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, and Fresno Art Museum. Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Helen Lundeberg.

Telephone: 
02074397766

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Venue ( Address ): 

82 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP London

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