Wednesday, April 7, 2010

About Lorser Feitelson

Lorser Feitelson was one of California's true master painters who worked in both a figurative and abstract style. He was also Harry Carmean's mentor and friend for over thirty years and so there is a strong tie stylistically between the two artists.  Feitelson originally lived and studied art in Paris, France and then moved over to the United States in the early 1900's with his wife Kitty (also an artist) who appears in his work of that time (second painting from the top is of her and her sister). He later moved to the Los Angeles area and married Helen Lundeburg who was also a painter and who became just as as well known as Feitelson.

His earliest work was inspired by the Italian Futurists where Feitelson uses simplified moving lines as can be seen as the third painting from the top. Although the kinetic works appear abstract they are actually based on the lines of the human figure, which was also the case with some of his later abstract works. He moved on to create some stunning Nazarine inspired works of peasants, then on to some Baroque and Mannerist inspired works in the 1930's and 40's. It is this period that influenced Harry Carmean the most in terms of subject matter, the strong use of darks and lights and a painterly style.

In the 1940's Feitelson started exploring more abstract forms of expression resulting in his Magical Space Form series and hard edge "Boulder" series. He was the founder of the Hard-edge movement in Los Angeles of which his wife Helen Lundeburg and Eva Slater (another Poetic Eye artist) were core members. He died in 1978, but his legacy continues, since aside from being a master artist, he was a well known teacher and historian as well. The paperback book shown above is out of print but still available if you look on the internet and it has some excellent reproductions of Feitelson's figure drawings.