July 18, 2024

Los Angeles Hard Edge from the Collection

July 20, 2024 - December 14, 2024

Los Angeles Hard Edge from the Collection places the exhibition, June Harwood Paintings, into a broader context. The artists in this exhibition, as well as June Harwood, participated in the exhibition California Hard-Edge Painting at the Pavilion Gallery in Balboa, California, in 1964 which featured eleven artists, including four women. Their paintings emphasize flat shapes, colors, and forms differentiated from each other by well-defined (‘hard’) edges.  

California Hard-Edge Painting was preceded in 1959 by Four Abstract Classicists, both organized by curator and critic Jules Langsner for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As an important international traveling exhibition, Four Abstract Classicists announced one of the first key West Coast art movements. It was largely a reaction to the dominance of Abstract Expressionism of the late 1940s and 1950s, with its emphasis on energetic brushwork, subjectivity, and emotionality. In contrast, the work of the Abstract Classicists was clean, precise, and impersonal.  Four Abstract Classicists championed the work of Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. Langsner broadened his perspective for California Hard-Edge Painting, adding Florence Arnold, John Barbour, Larry Bell, John Coplans, June Harwood, Frederick Hammersley, Helen Lundeberg, and Dorothy Waldman.   

Lorser Feitelson, Dichotomic Organization, 1959, oil on canvas, 61.25” x 61.25” x 1.5”, Gift of the Maria Eccles Caine Foundation
Lorser Feitelson, Dichotomic Organization, 1959, oil on canvas, 61.25” x 61.25” x 1.5”, Gift of the Maria Eccles Caine Foundation