Lorser Feitelson Bio
"I have tried to create a wonder-world of formidable mood-evoking form, color, space, and movement: a configuration that for me metaphorically expresses the deep disturbance of our time: ominously magnificent and terrifying events, hurtling menacingly from the unforeseeable".
Lorser Feitelson, in reference to his painting, Geomorphic Metaphor, 1950-51.
LORSER FEITELSON (1898-1978) came 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, (Feitelson taught at the highly influential Chouinard Art Institute and what is now the Pasadena Center for Art and Design) Feitelson helped to establish Los Angeles as the important art center it is today.
From roughly 1940 to 1960, Feitelson embarked upon a remarkable exploration of abstract forms. Rooted in the figurative world, Feitelson’s compositions evolved from the organic into the geometric. Known as Abstract Classicism, or Hard Edge, this period of Feitelson’s work offers unique imagery that maintains the profound sense of space and form associated with traditional Classicism. He was one of the four artists featured in the landmark 1959Abstract Classicists exhibition curated by Jules Langsner at the Los Angeles County Museum in Exposition Park.
As time went on, Feitelson began reducing his compositions, focusing on the essentials. From the mid-1960s, he ventured into Minimalism, creating sleek paintings comprised of sensuous lines set against solid backgrounds of color. These works were a culmination of Feitelson’s experience and represent decades of artistic development.
In 2007, the Orange County Museum of Art’s "Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury" featured the abstract classicists, touring the country. From September 2011 to January 2012, Feitelson’s work was featured in two exhibitions in conjunction with the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time initiative: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, at the Getty Center and Artistic Evolution: Southern California Artists, 1945-1963 at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He was later included in the exhibition’s transfer to the Martin Gropius in Berlin in March.
Works by Lorser Feitelson are included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among numerous other public and private collections.