Werner Drewes & Nicholas Brigante

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Spanning the 1920’s to 1980’s, both Brigante (1895-1989) and Drewes (1899-1985) expressed their abstract visions through various media including watercolors, collages, prints and paintings.

Immigrating to the United States in 1930 from Germany, Drewes brought roots in architecture from Bauhaus training under the tutelage of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. As one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists group in 1935, he played a vital role in the evolution and acceptance of non-objective art in the United States. From his beginnings, bold figuration, dramatic geometric forms, rhythmic abstractions and brilliant palettes combine to give evidence of a personal vocabulary in his art. Drawings recorded ideas throughout his career but he also, frequently, made collages as studies. Many of these inventive compositions predict subsequent works. Through his art, his teaching and his philosophy, Werner Drewes created an illustrious career.

As a student at the Los Angeles Art Students’ League in 1911, Italy-born Brigante began as a sign painter, painting ‘Bull Durham’ signs on barns and fences. In 1920s he commenced watercolor series that depicted the hills and local natural wildernesses. These abstract and figurative works evoked the poetic abstractions of Asian aesthetics, Eastern philosophies and synchromist color theories. A master of watercolor, ink wash and sensuous line, Nick Brigante created a visual metaphor of experience found through nature that melded with his sensibilities.

Brigante and Drewes were influential artists that contributed to the development of abstract art movement in United States. Although contrasting in style, fluid tendency of Brigante and architectural tendency of Drewes, their shared passion for an abstraction is not to be missed in our exhibition!